Taus Makhacheva was born in Moscow, Russia in 1983. Her work consistently focuses on the history and images of her native land. Using a wide array of artistic means, especially video, installations and photography, Makhacheva questions the precarious border between similarity and difference and between acceptance and rejection, while exploring how the past history of her country can be reintroduced into daily life as part of the struggle to find a new identity. She has exhibited recently in the 2017 Venice Biennale, the 2016 Shanghai Biennale and the 2015 Moscow Biennale.
Baida is a performance developed for the 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice (2017) on the waters of the Adriatic Sea, where a series of performers appear and disappear on a capsized boat, transported from the Caspian Sea to the waters of the Venice Lagoon. The work evolved out of numerous conversations between the artist and fishermen of the village of Starii Terek in Daghestan, a republic of the Russian Federation, the largest and most populous in northern Caucasus. A recurring element in their stories is the fear of falling into the sea and dying and their bodies never being found. It is a common practice among the fisherman, in fact, to tie themselves to the prow of the boat so that, if it should capsize and they die at sea, their families could at least recover their body and mourn over it. Baida is a reflection on the precarious nature of human existence and the struggle to survive in the face of overwhelming economic and natural forces.