In the Making: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov. From Drawing to Installation

17.10.2019 – 23.02.2020
Museum for Architectural Drawing, Berlin

The nexus between architecture and installation art has long been a topic worthy of exploration. Installation transforms space and interacts with the audience; it must be designed, constructed and installed and therefore relies on architectural components.

Since the late eighties the acclaimed conceptual artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov have created fantastical spaces that they call ‘total’ installations inviting viewers to immerse themselves in stories about utopian dreams. The use of common objects – things which help to create an atmosphere of memory – is a key instrument in their work; they incorporate such objects in their walkable room installations, which become something like a personal museum for the “little man”.

The show brings together a selection of sketches and drawings for their famous installations The Toilet realised at the IX Kassel Documenta 1992, The Palace of Projects permanently installed at the Zeche Zollverein, and The Red Pavilion, which was exhibited at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993. Along with drawings for built works, theatre and ideas for unrealised installations such as The Vertical Opera to be performed in the Guggenheim Museum are presented. Most of the drawings on display do not reflect a thinking process that leads to their large-format installations, but rather ideas that exist from the very beginning in the minds of the artists and then are realised on paper by Ilya Kabakov.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Trailer of the exhibition

Studio visit

This exhibition was kindly supported by Schüco, Janinhoff Klinkermanufaktur, NBK, Guardian Glass, Grohe, Kewenig gallery and speech. Media partner: BerlinArtLink.

Image: © Ilya und Emilia Kabakov