Taus Makhacheva: Hold your horses

  • 7 Feb – 29 Nov 2020
  • 11am–4pm
  • Free, no booking required

“Imagine unclimbed mountains surrounded by voices; accounts of superhero sightings. Imagine the landscape of a tireless traveller, and attempts to move large volumes of rock (real and imaginary) with the help of winds, daydreaming and bare hands. Hold your horses.”

Hold your horses spoke to the traditions of history making and the experience of everyday life. Makhacheva’s position isn’t nostalgic; instead she creates stories and even superheroes through a playful process of mixing, borrowing and assimilation.

Often drawing from daily life in Dagestan and the Caucasus region of Russia, Makhacheva reflects on the day-to-day rituals, celebrations and instances of everyday heroism with a playful and humorous tone.

Central to the exhibition was Superhero Sighting Society (2019), installed in The Tetley’s atrium. Commissioned by KADIST Foundation, Paris, and supported by narrative projects, London, the work presented a cacophony of voices resonating within a mountain-scape, recalling sightings of various superheroes. These were not the fantastic superheroes we see in films or comic books, but figures that tackle daily injustices and the loss of small worlds, such as a bookstore disappearing, or a gallery shutting down.

The exhibition also featured ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) Spa (2018), commissioned for Liverpool Biennial 2018. Visitors were invited to book a thirty-minute Sculptural signature facial conducted by a performer. Each treatment brought the subject into close proximity with the materiality of artworks through ingredients in the cosmetic products used, posing the question of what it means to be a restorer, or to be restored.

The exhibition was presented in partnership with Liverpool Biennial and supported with National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund. With thanks to narrative projects, London.

Watch our interview with the artist

Taus Makhacheva: Hold your horses