Exhibition: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Dream City (Power Station of Art, Shanghai; 8 August – 6 December)


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Curator: Jean-Hubert Martin

The exhibition Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Dream City is the largest installation by the famous Russian artist couple to date.
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Dream City, a long-term art project by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, is the summary of their life-time philosophy of art. PSA will present the following works: Manas, Fallen Angel, Dark Chapel, the Gates, 20 ways to get an apple listening the music of Mozart and Empty Museum. Combining various art forms such as architecture, lighting, sound, painting, urban planning, etc., the artworks of the Kabakovs invite the audiences to enter the maze of an imaginary world and lose themselves to the strength of art.

Commenting on the installation, Emilia Kabakov said: “Some years ago, someone asked us if we thought that art could influence politics. We answered no. Our opinion has not changed, but during all these years, we have worked with ideas based around the imaginary and utopia. We sincerely believe that art, which occupies an important place in our culture, can change the way we think, dream and act. It can change the way we live. This time, we would like to create more than an installation; we would like to conceive something very different. Constructing The Dream City is to insist on the experience rather than on the form of a project; it is to ask you to slow down in your real life, to call on your emotions, your senses and your memories. We invite you to come to the Power Station of Art to enter The Dream City, a fantastic space born of a collective imagination, and to think and reflect about art, culture, the daily life and our present and our future.”

Jean-Hubert Martin, the curator of the exhibition, explains: “With spectacular and mysterious atmospheres, the journey through The Dream City is like a great, epic tale. We are invited to address men’s aspirations, their pursuit of transcendence and philosophy. The metaphor for life and its mystery is communicated through the senses.” Ilya and Emilia Kabakov evoke images of progress, science and man’s evolution that have had disastrous consequences. Through spectacular installations permeated with humor and poetry, they have set up a catalogue of ideas over the years, showing how mankind has tenaciously pursued achievements that are more or less useless.

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