I spent a quiet couple of hours today, sipping my double espresso and glass of water, Continental style, in Waitrose. (free coffee, of course) whilst reading a fascinating book, The man who never threw anything away about Ilya Kabakov. Published in 1996, and written by Amei Wallach, it explores the installations and other work of this 20th century Soviet artist.
There were a number of lines that really resonated with me, and my current Preserved project:
“Like Kafka, Kabakov mixes the dull and the uncanny to conjure up what is ultimately a metaphysics of eternal dislocation and longing”
His work is not as “dry or academic… as an anthropologist or archaeologist…. Chronicler would perhaps be the better way to describe him, since like the scribes of ancient Russia, Labakov is simultaneously a poet of facts and a spinner of tales”
I seek the uncanny particularly in the ordinary and quotidian, and to create new histories, modern fables, that the viewer can articulate his or herself, from the clues left often buried within the art piece, is how I perceive this work functioning.
I am so pleased that so many people are already engaging with the subject, and people who are not trained artists, do not see themselves as “creative” are tapping into the multiple meanings of this collaborative project.