“The Border”: New Goethe-Institute Exhibition in Moscow

Exhibition presents work by artists from 16 cities and 11 countries across Europe and Asia.

Photo by Shamil Gadjidadayev

According to curators Inke Arns and Thibaut de Ruyter, the exhibition explores the concept of borders and their origins as “territorial exclusions or, conversely, inclusions; as cultural, personal or social dividing lines; as an instrument with which to distinguish between ‘us’ and ‘them.’” The geographical and cultural border between Europe and Asia is the topical thread running through the project.

One of the exhibition’s artists, Taus Makhacheva will show her work “19 a Day” – in which she crashes ninteen weddings in her hometown of Makhachkala in one day, accompanied by the wedding photographer Shamil Gadjidadayev. Although uninvited, the artist finds herself integrated into the rituals and festivities of the wedding ceremonies.

As the artist says: “One of the reasons that work was included in the exhibition is because it's an experiment in a society in a period of change. Here you see, on display different kinds of desires – brides in western-style dress, wearing crowns on top of a hijab. A manifestation of heterogeneous aspirations within a society that is finding its identity.”

Another work exhibited is a video of Super Taus – the artist’s alter ego – as she singlehandedly moves a large boulder from the middle of a road. The video was filmed on a car video recorder and is accessible online. “Both of these works are on the periphery of the artistic medium, they are experiments,” says the artist. 

The Goethe-Institut’s “The Border” exhibition project opens tonight in Moscow before traveling to St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Kiev, Tbilisi, Minsk, and Dortmund. It will continue on to Central Asia in 2018.

“The Border,” Tsereteli Art Gallery, Moscow. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 26.