Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Taus Makhacheva, RU

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.