Ilya/Emilia Kabakov: Mounment To A Lost Civilization
3 March – 26 March 2000
Monument To A Lost Civilization is a project tracing the desire of an individual to construct "a life of one's own": it depicts the tension between the real and the ideal, and the struggle of developing one's humanity within the confines of a strictly authoritarian society which forces us to submit and betray our true nature.
Monument documents 38 installation projects created by the artists over the span of many years. These installations describe different aspects of life in the former Soviet Union, and are recreated in this exhibition – in a captivating setting – as small models. Monument also constitutes a proposal for a future project by the Kabakovs, a gigantic 'total installation', which the artists compare to the construction of a small city.
Ilya Kabakov is recognised as one of the most important European artists to have emerged in the late 20th century. Since 1989 he and his wife Emilia have worked collaboratively, with their installation projects achieving international acclaim. Monument To A Lost Civilization is the first major project by the Kabakovs to be seen in Australia.
This exhibition was originally presented by Frontiere, 16 April – 27 June 1999 at Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo, Italy. Catalogue essay by Ewen McDonald.