Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Ilya Kabakov

8-10 Lectures on "The Spirit of A Place"

Artists' Research Laboratory (VI CSAV)
3–24 July 2000

It was discussed the kind of installation erected in a "normal" residential space where normal people live and exist, not the "viewer" interested in art. On the other hand, they often are not at all sculptures or some kind of monuments that are easily recognized by the viewer as artistic object usually adoring adorning parks, intersections or city squares, and the role of which is very well known. At the same time, nor do they represent sufficiently well known "works of contemporary art" placed in open spaces, either... A "practical program" was proposed to run in parallel to the lectures: to build such an installation jointly along with the students, and the entire process was examined "practically" - from the first sketch to the completed project.

Annie Ratti
Giacinto di Pietrantonio
Angela Vettese
Anna Daneri

Invited artist

Ilya Kabakov (b. 1933, Dnipro, Ukraine) lives and works in Long Island. His work developed in the form of drawings, collages, environmental installations and sculptures which, from the limits placed on the individual in the Soviet Union, now address the structures imposed upon humanity in general terms. Today he produces works in collaboration with his wife, Emilia. The Kabakovs are best known for their ‘total’ installations, a type of immersive artwork that they pioneered. A ‘total installation’ completely immerses the viewer in a dramatic environment. They transform the gallery spaces they are displayed in, creating a new reality for the viewer to enter and experience.

Their work has been shown in such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Documenta 9, Kassel; Whitney Biennial, New York 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. The Kabakovs have also completed many important public commissions throughout Europe and have received a number of honors and awards, including the Oscar Kokoschka Preis, Vienna, in 2002 and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Paris, in 1995.

Ilya Kabakov has held personal shows in numerous museums around the world which have purchased his permanent installations. Kabakov has also participated in some of the leading international group shows including Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997), Documenta, Kassel (1992) and the Venice Biennial (1997).

Participant artists

Gruppo Mille (Roberta Iachini)
Zaza Bazel
Rossella Biscotti
Maurizio Borzì
Simo Brotherus
Mircea Cantor
Amy Cheung
Daniel Herskowitz
Jeremy Hiah
Antonia Iurlaro
Ursula Janig
Daniel Juhas
Polona Lovsin
Sandrine Nicoletta
Tetang Nzoko Yakobou
Alessandra Odoni
Rosy Rox
Loredana Ruscigno
Michela Santorum
Luca Veronesi
Ma'ayan Zilberman


Ilya Kabakov

solo exhibition

25 July–10 September 2000

End of the course exhibition

24 July 2000


Ilya Kabakov. Public Projects or the Spirit of a Place

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