This project is a symbolic representation of the realities of the art system which forces the artist to produce a product that meets consumerist expectations in order to obtain the support necessary for implementation of extensive ideas with no market potential. Taus Makhacheva has a number of such ambitious plans. One of them is the construction of a dual highway encircling the Dagestani mountain (Makhnot peak near the Bolshoy Gotsatl village) with no connection to the existing road network. Acting as a place intended for public use, this "highway" is a nonfunctional element of the landscape, the usefulness of which is grounded in the conceptual depth of the artistic message. Makhacheva uses the road as a metaphor for power, criticizing any claims for the territory according to which in order to establish authority over the space, it is necessary to reorganize it accordingly to the new rules and to pave the way.
Makhacheva perfectly understands how costly her idea is. And to make its implementation possible, she produces an object that corresponds to the generally accepted notion of art. It is a model of a mountain hill carved out of dolomite with a ring road represented by a notch around the perimeter. A piece fixed at some distance from it was removed from the rock during the cutting of the road. It can be taken off from the supports and placed over the road restoring the mountain to its original appearance.
According to the idea of the artist, the person interested in taking this object in possession shouldn't pay the artist for it. Instead, the person receives a sculpture as a gift. Thus, the person is involved in the exchange process governed by the quid pro quo principle. Such a generous gift demands from the recipient a reciprocal gift. The recipient undertakes an obligation to bring the artist's idea to life and build a real road. This way, the duty of politeness as a duty of reparation prescribes the recipient to assume these obligations along with the responsibility to fulfill them for possession of a work of art.
Alexey Maslyaev, curator of the Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair NonCommercial Programme