In the Making: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov. From Drawing to Installation

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Catalogue of the exhibition “In the Making: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov. From Drawing to Installation”

ed. by Esenija Bannan

in German and English

156 pages, hardcover, published in 2019

ISBN: 978-3-944899-13-8

The connection between architecture and installation art has long been a topic worthy of exploration. Installation transforms space and interacts with the audience; it must be designed, constructed and installed and therefore relies on architectural components. The conceptual artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov create fantastical spaces that the artists call ‘total’ installations inviting viewers to immerse themselves into stories about utopian dreams. The use of objects – things which help to create an atmosphere of memory – is a key instrument in their work and they incorporate them in the artists’ walkable room installations as something like a personal museum for “little man”.

The exhibition brings together drawings for realised and unrealised projects including 'The Vertical Opera' to be performed in the Guggenheim Museum, for an installation with a man that reaches for an angel 'How to Meet an Angel and for an angel that falls from the sky called 'The Fallen Angel', an installation proposed for the Whitney Museum. It also includes sketches and watercolour drawings for theatre and for their famous installation 'The Toilet' realised at documenta IX in Kassel and coloured pencil drawings for 'The Red Pavilion' exhibited at the 45th Venice Biennale.

Ilya Kabakov often deploys traditional techniques of architectural drawing, which he transposes to fantastical structures. Ilya and Emilia create the concept for an installation together and Ilya transfers their ideas onto paper: ideas become drawings and the drawings become installations.