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Total Installation, Public Project

A conversation with Ilya and Emilia Kabakov about the relationship between contemporary art, public imagination, and utopia

Values


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Artistic legacies
  • Memory

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Departments of the History of Art and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania

Organizers

Kevin M.F. Platt, Christine Poggi

Acknowledgments

Sachs Programming Fund, University of Pennsylvania

Opens to public

03/14/2013

Time

5:30pm

Address

Slought
4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Economy

50% Formal - 50% Informal

Slought is pleased to announce "Total Installation, Public Project," a public conversation with artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 5:30-7pm at Slought. The event will be introduced and moderated by Matthew Jesse Jackson, and has been organized by Kevin M.F. Platt and Christine Poggi.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov create large-scale environments, "total installations," that orchestrate elements of the Everyday within an atmosphere of the Extraordinary. While rooted in their experience of life in the Soviet Union, the Kabakovs' art strives to reach a plane of transcultural significance, to penetrate to the core of the desires and fears that mold our present world. An ever-changing, ambitious project designed to reintegrate contemporary art into the public imagination, the Kabakovs' art challenges its viewers to become utopians without any allegiance to any utopia.

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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are Russian-born, American-based artists that collaborate on environments which fuse elements of the everyday with those of the conceptual. While their work is deeply rooted in the Soviet social and cultural context in which the Kabakovs came of age, their work still attains a universal significance. Ilya Kabakov was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union, in 1933. He studied art in Moscow, and began his career as a children's book illustrator during the 1950's. He was part of a group of Conceptual artists in Moscow who worked outside the official Soviet art system. In 1985 he received his first solo show exhibition at Dina Vierny Gallery, Paris, and he moved to the West two years later. His installations speak as much about conditions in post-Stalinist Russia as they do about the human condition universally. Emilia Kabakov (nee Kanevsky) was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union, in 1945. She studied in Irkutsk and Moscow, immigrating to Israel in 1973, and moved to New York in 1975, where she worked as a curator and art dealer. In 1988, Ilya and Emilia began their collaborative projects together.

Their work has been shown in such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Documenta IX, at the Whitney Biennial in 1997 and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg among others. In 1993 they represented Russia at the 45th Venice Biennale with their installation The Red Pavilion. LISSITZKY - KABAKOV: Utopia and Reality, a major retrospective of their work, is currently on view at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven through April 2013, and travels to the Hermitage in the fall.