virtual dress

vernissage ensemble
taus makhacheva
virtual dress

a virtual dress by taus makhacheva, unfolds on vernissage ensemble

on Saturday 27 March

The Fries Museum in Leeuwarden is hosting the exhibition Taus Makhacheva: It’s possible to raise the ceiling a bit*. In films, objects and installations Taus Makhacheva (Moscow, 1983) reflects on rituals, celebrations and the extraordinary in the everyday, with playful and humorous overtones. The exhibition was planned to open on Saturday, 27 March, but a nationwide lockdown due to Covid has made a physical opening impossible. To mark the original opening date, a new, digital work by Taus Makhacheva will premiere on the museum's social media channels at 4 p.m. that day. Makhacheva’s film Vernissage Ensemble** translates the exhibition into a virtual dress.

Taus Makhacheva has invited designer Panika Derevya and film director Alexandra Pustynnova to develop a digital dress. The artist, now in Moscow, will wear the dress on the original opening date of her exhibition in Leeuwarden. This digital work is simultaneously a dress as an object, and a dress that one simply ‘steps into’. Each element of the dress, designed as appliqué or as part of the structure, refers to Makhacheva's oeuvre and to the works shown in the exhibition. A video showing the dress unfolding will be launched on Saturday, 27 March at 4 p.m. on the museum's Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.

The Dress, 2021, Taus Makhacheva, Panika Derevya en Alexandra Pustynnova
The Dress, 2021, Taus Makhacheva, Panika Derevya en Alexandra Pustynnova

it’s possible to raise the ceiling a bit*
Almost all of the works are on view in the Netherlands for the first time. This extensive solo exhibition, curated by Hanne Hagenaars, explores the of history making and its encounters with everyday life. Taus Makhacheva’s It's possible to raise the ceiling a bit* can be visited when the museums reopen and ends on 6 March 2022. The highlight of the exhibition is the work Charivari (2019), which is on view in the Netherlands for the first time. The installation is reminiscent of a circus, with trapezes and performers’ costumes. The title of the work refers to the opening act at a circus where clowns, acrobats and other performers all enter the arena simultaneously to display their skills. The installation is a colourful mix of sculptures, costumes and absurdist audio stories in Dutch, Frisian and English. Another intriguing installation stems from the story of the hot air balloon Le Flesselles, which made its one and only flight in  Lyon on 19 January 1784. Inspired by costume design classes at the Lycée La Martinière Diderot in Lyon, Taus Makhacheva’s metaphorical replica of the hot air balloon combines dressmaking techniques with materials from various eras, such as crinoline. The balloon articulates the history of technology and fashion, of tools and bodies. The balloon is suspended in the hall of the Fries Museum, where it can be seen from the corridors of all three floors and from the Wilhelminaplein in Leeuwarden.

taus makhacheva
Makhacheva lives and works in Moscow. She has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths (2007), graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow (New Strategies programme, 2009) and earned an MFA from the Royal College of Art (2013).
Makhacheva has won several awards, such as New Generation - Innovation, State Prize, Moscow (2012), Future of Europe Prize, Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, (2014), 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art Foundation Prize, Moscow (2015), Kandinsky Prize, Young Artist, Project of the year, Moscow (as Super Taus) (2016), and she was named 'Cosmoscow Artist of the Year' by the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2018).

Her work has been exhibited at Yokohama Triennial (2020), Lahore Biennial (2020), Lyon Biennial (2019), Kaunas Biennial (2019), Liverpool Biennial (2018), Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (2018), Manifesta 12 in Palermo (2018), Yinchuan Biennial (2018), Venice Biennial (2017), Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (2017), Shanghai Biennial (2016), Kyiv Biennial (2015), Sharjah Biennial (2013) and Moscow Biennial (2011).
Makhacheva's work is included in international museum collections, including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Modern (London), Pushkin Museum (Moscow) and M HKA (Antwerp).

*coordinator of exhibition construction Daniël Hoogterp describing the museum technical team’s possibilities during a work zoom on 28 July 2020.


Director: Alexandra Pustynnova
Costume design: Panika Derevya
Production: Anzhelika Baryshnikova
Text: Lesia Prokopenko
3D design: Alexander Oreshin
Motion design: Alan Tandelov
Sound design: Aleksander Khokhlov, Denis Dronov
Subtitles: Alexandra Pustynnova
Text editor: Ben Wheeler
Narrator: Taus Makhacheva
Translation: Еlena Koetnaja

This exhibition has been made possible by the Mondriaan Fund (the public stimulus fund for the visual arts and cultural heritage).

The Fries Museum is also financed by the Province of Fryslân, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, the BankGiro Lottery and the Ir. Abe Bonnema Foundation.

Charivari was commissioned by YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Aerostatic Experience was commissioned by Lyon Biennial (the production was supported by SAM Art Projects), and The Unbound was commissioned by 6 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (the production was supported by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow).

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