Monthly Archive: October 2000

Theater as Simulation, or the Virtual Overcoat: Towards a Theater of the Postmodern



For over an entire century theater has existed as make-believe, as it has tried to create the illusion of reality on stage by developing the notion of empathy in order to stimulate the spectator emotionally. For over three quarters of a century this conventional, realistic theater has coexisted with a “theater as theater” that opposes these principles and seeks instead to push the spectator towards a rational response to the stage events, to make him aware of the spectacle, and to use its effects and attractions to enhance theatricality.

Cultural history, be it in theater, cinema, architecture or the … Read more

Ilya Kabakov: “50 Installations”

Ilya Kabakov: 50 Installations. Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland:

“For Kabakov, art remains an inevitable, existential need and a therapy for survival. The artist loves the museum not merely as an institution, but as a personal refuge,” Svetlana Boym argues in her recent essay for this publication, The Soviet Toilet and the Palace of Utopias. In his retrospective exhibition, 50 Installations, Ilya Kabakov has turned his refuge into his playground. The tripartite exhibition itself displays many of the features of Kabakov’s “total installations.” This is most evident in “The Children’s Hospital,” a hospital ward with two beds, on the … Read more

From Sochi to Moscow: Last Season’s Film Festivals in Russia

After his election to the Chairman of the Filmmakers’ Union in 1998, Mikhalkov immediately announced his plans to make the Moscow International Film Festival (whose chairman he became automatically with his election) an annual event. Since its first regular run in 1959 (there had been one film festival under Stalin in 1935) MIFF had been a biannual event, held in uneven years (with their notoriously hot summers). The first MIFF held under Mikhalkov’s in 1999 was opened by the then Prime Minister Stepashin, who officially confirmed at the opening ceremony what had been sought after by Mikhalkov: the festival would … Read more

The Wall After the Wall

After the Wall. Art and culture in post-communist Europe. Moderna Museet, Stockholm, October 16, 1999 – January 16, 2001

“A deafening noise”: this was a complaint made by my Swedish students after a visit to After the Wall. 140 artists from 22 countries. An enormous exhibition area turned into a likeness of a modern factory: exquisitely designed museum spaces crowded with dozens of art installations, music and voices and reproduced city noises, all the clamour and clatter, the sound and fury of an assembly room in which each and every individual symbolic machine is busy making a sense … Read more

Experiences of Discourse. Polish Conceptual Art 1965 – 1975

 This essay is a preview of his preface to the catalogue of the exhibition “Conceptual Reflection in Polish Art. Experiences of Discourse: 1965 – 1975”, published by Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw.

we fell
and got up
we fall
(Tadeusz Rozewicz, Falling, 1963)

“The most striking property of doors (although not unique to doors) is RESONANCE between two states, which can be conveniently labeled as “open” and ‘closed'”. (Richard Artschwager, The Hydraulic Doorcheck, 1967)

“…a work and a text have the characteristics of an event and that is why they come too … Read more