“I exported, in essence, a cube of Soviet air,“ says Ilya Kabakov, commenting on his work The Red Vagon. He was the first to open up the unknown world of the life of the Soviet people for Western lovers of modern art – a world caught between ideology and everyday life, between the public and the private sphere. The ‚total’ installation genre allows each viewer to feel that they are part of this world, to view it as a reality, to experience the drama of loneliness amid the inescapable collective. Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s ‚total’ installations qualify as a philosophical-artistic life encyclopaedia of a disappeared Soviet Atlantis. As an ironic observer and sophisticated analyst, Kabakov became the West’s companion in an unknown world, assisting in the search to find common ground.
Using texts, photos and sketches, this book documents the history of The Red Vagon installation, which since 1999 has been the property of the Museum Wiesbaden.
Other catalogues published in Russian language by KERBER VERLAG on the occasion of the Ilya and Emilia Kabakov retrospective in Moscow 2008:
„An Alternative History of Art“
„On The ‚Total’ Installation“
„Life of Flies“