Andreas Broeckmann on Thu, 2 Dec 1999 14:57:50 +0200

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Syndicate: CCA Kiev new exhibition - Kosuth/Kabakov

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 10:49:37 +0200
From: Assistant #3 <>

Center for Contemporary Art


Joseph Kosuth and Illia Kabakov's

<The Corridor of Two Banalities>

a celebrated exhibition
curated by Milada Slizinska

December 4, 1999 - February 14, 2000
Opening 6p.m., December 3, 1999

The American Joseph Kosuth and Dnipropetrovsk-born Illia Kabakov are among
the most prominent figures in contemporary art; they are the leaders and
creators of the art form called conceptualism. In the 1970s-1980s Kabakov
worked in Moscow, though since the late 1980s, when he moved to the USA, his
works have rarely appeared in the former USSR. Kabakov-Kosuth's joint
project seemingly makes fun of life in the two different countries. In
Kabakov's case it is the USSR. He uses official Soviet iconography, familiar
to entire generations, put together with actual denunciations and
defamations of the same people. In this way, he alludes to the abyss between
the propagated ideal of <Homo sovieticus> and the behaviour of some supposed
specimens of this ideal. The anonymous letters used in this work were
written by people living in a single communal apartment in Moscow, who blow
the whistle on their neighbours to the housing office concerning trivial
things of no importance. The author remarks on the moral tragedy eternally
occurring in the life of Homo sovieticus. But that is just one side of the
lengthy row of tables used by the artists.

The other side is Kosuth's American territory-a cool, grey table surface
with tastefully silkscreened letters of inscribed words, pronounced by the
Great of This World: politicians, writers, and historical figures.
Notwithstanding their graceful execution, the pronouncements too often
contradict each other and are likely to create the impression of absurdity.
According to Kosuth, both he himself and Kabakov work, first and foremost,
with context. In this case, it is the reality of two worlds and a line of
division, as well as the thing common to them-man and his words, ideals,
downfalls, his absurdities.

The exhibition was first held at the Ujazdowski Zamek Center for
Contemporary Art in Warsaw in 1994. It caused a sensation in the world of
art, and became a classic project to study at the art school. However, it
remained undiscovered for the post-Soviet viewer. <The Corridor of Two
Banalities> at the Center for Contemporary Art in Kyiv became possible
thanks to the Center's efforts, which spanned eighteen months. There is no
doubt that the efforts were worth it. To bring such a large-scale
international exhibition to Ukraine is, by all accounts, of great importance
for Ukrainian contemporary culture. Especially fitting is Kosuth-Kabakov's
idea of <a line of division between two worlds>.

The CCA activity is generously supported by: PIK magazine, 1+1 TV channel,
The project is supported by: CCA <Ujazdowski Castle>, Embassy of the USA in
Ukraine, Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine, Renaissance International
Foundation, Batory Foundation, Poland, LOT and Austrian Airlines companies.
For additional information, please contact CCA program coordinator Julia
 Tel: 238-2446, fax: 238-2448, e-mail:,

------Syndicate mailinglist--------------------
 Syndicate network for media culture and media art
 information and archive:
 to unsubscribe, write to <>
 in the body of the msg: unsubscribe your@email.adress