Locomotion commotion

By GREG COOK  |  September 18, 2007

Out the back and down the stairs, you enter what appears to be an excavation. At the end of a dirt-filled room stands a giant mushroom-looking thing, apparently made from clay, rising from floor to ceiling. The monumental brass of Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra started up in my head. It was all cosmic and kind of silly, like the black-monolith thingy in the film 2001:A Space Odyssey.

The installation seems oddly vacant and somewhat tedious — which feels both spot-on and kind of tedious. With all their make-believe, the Kabakovs are playing at inventing a new religion here. And as with many religions, they aim to ease our doubts with important-looking architecture and signs. The design evokes the future circa 1969, the year 2001: A Space Odyssey came out.

Signs at the end of the exhibit explain that Ilya Kabakov has shifted his focus from dystopias to utopian dreaming. But I wonder whether his subject hasn’t shifted from the demise of the Russian Revolution’s utopian dreams to America’s space-age utopian capitalist dreams. These seemed triumphant in the 1990s, but since 2001 they appear to not be doing so well.


< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: Across the Universe, Tempo tantrum, Flash without fire, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Entertainment, Culture and Lifestyle, Ilya Kabakov,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GREG COOK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BEAUTY AND RUIN  |  July 30, 2014
    You’ve surely seen Providence painter Agustín Patiño’s work.
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.
  •   DOODLES, LIGHTS, AND DREAMS  |  July 16, 2014
    Gibson Prouty has found a muse — classic yellow pencils with pink erasers on the end.
  •   SEEING ANEW  |  July 09, 2014
    The aim of the RISD Museum’s eight newly renovated galleries for its permanent collection of fashion and Egyptian and Asian art seems to be “quiet contemplation.”
  •   BRIGHTNESS AND DARKNESS  |  June 25, 2014
    Constellations of mirror ball clouds dangle from the ceiling on pink cords at the center of the room and slowly rotate and sparkle. You’re invited to peer though weird, lumpy crystal-telescope-things.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK