V–A–C Foundation and M HKA engage in a longer-term collaboration by supporting the work of contemporary Russian artists in a variety of way. V–A–C wants to enhance the presence of leading Russian artists, of different generations, in selected European museum collections. M HKA exhibits and collects works by artists from Russia and other countries of the former USSR. The museum focuses on ‘Eurasia’, thereby contributing to the geographic diversity of collecting and programming.


Taus landscape mhka image: © M HKA, Collection M HKA, Antwerp - Donation V-A-C, Moscow.
Landscape, 2013
series of wooden objects, carved by Kazbek Alikhov

The work is a collection (in progress) of wooden objects representing human noses, modelled after North Caucasian faces. In Caucasus there are several legends referring to men losing their noses. In order to find them again, and thereby to prove their manliness, they set off on adventurous journeys. In the Avar language, for instance, the word merlep means ‘mountain’ as well as ‘nose’. The highlanders’ identification with their mountains and peaks is also deeply rooted in the region. Landscape does not only ‘tell’ interesting facts about the bond between the Caucasian people and their homeland, but hints at the stereotypes and clichéd images that often influ­ence our knowledge of countries and their inhabitants. (Ilina Koralova)