The current visit of Ilya Kabakov to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus will offer students and the local community much more than an opportunity to merely see and hear one of the world's foremost installation artists.
In addition to delivering a public lecture and participating in a conference, Kabakov -- recently named by
"Art News" magazine as one of the top 10 living artists -- will create an installation piece titled "The Empty Bottle: Mother and Child" on the grass outside UCSB's Buchanan Hall near the eternal flame. While building the piece with the help of his wife, Emilia, and several UCSB art students, Kabakov will be available to discuss the project and answer questions.
"That's what we are hoping will happen," said Sven Spieker,
an associate professor of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies who organized the
Kabakov visit as a Regents Lectureship.
"We hope people will come by, stop, look and talk to the artist."
The Kabakovs arrived on campus Thursday, Feb. 1 and expect to begin work on the project today (Friday, Feb. 2).
They will be guests at a UCSB conference titled "Packrats and Bureaucrats: Study in the Archive" Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 5 and 6, and will conclude the conference with their talk "Total Installation: How Art Shapes Our Experience of Shape and Time" at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Isla Vista Theater.
A reception will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the installation project site celebrating completion of the sculture.
Ilya Kabakov was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in 1933 and lived in the Soviet Union until emigrating to the United States in 1988. Officially an illustrator of children's books, he was one of the leaders of Moscow's unofficial underground art scene from the late 1950s on, and is widely recognized as one of the most important Russian artists of the late 20th Century.
Much of his work has depicted his critical impressions of Soviet life, but since the collapse of the USSR and his move to the United States, he has embraced other themes. He has particular empathy for the disenfranchised, the marginal, and the mentally disabled.
He has shown his art in many of the world's major cities and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Joseph Beuys Prize and the Max Beckmann Prize.
"He is one of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the world," Spieker said.
"We are very proud that he has accepted our invitation to take up a Regents Lectureship here."
The conference tied to the Kabakov visit deals with issues of archiving art and information and has attracted participants from around the world.
It was organized by Spieker and Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies Chair Wolf Kittler.
The Kabakov lecture is free and open to the public.
For further information contact Sven Spieker at (805) 893-7626.
The full conference schedule follows:Monday, Feb. 5, McCune Conference Room, Humanities and Social Science Bldg.9 a.m. -- Welcome and introduction, Sven Spieker.9:45 a.m. -- "Classifying."
Boris Groys, Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe; George Legrady, Art Studio Department, UCSB; Wolfgang Ernst, Humboldt UniversitŠt, Berlin; Wolf Kittler, UCSB.
Colin Gardner, Art Studio, UCSB.1:30 p.m. -- "Indexing."
Philippe Codognet, Université de Paris, XIV; Sven Spieker, UCSB; Laurence A. Rickels, Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies, UCSB.
Laurie Monahan, History of Art and Architecture, UCSB.3:30 p.m. -- "Filing."
Bernhard Siegert, Zentrum für Literaturforschung, Berlin; Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, University of British Columbia; Bernhard Dotzler, Zentrum für Literaturforschung, Berlin; Charles Merewether, The J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles.
Bruce Robertson, History of Art and Architecture, UCSB.8 p.m. -- Film, "The Danube Exodus" 1998, presented by director Peter Forgacs. UCSB Multi-Cultural Center.Tuesday, Feb. 6 McCune Conference Room, Humanities and Social Science Bldg.9:30 a.m. -- "Cataloging."
Beatrice von Bismarck, Kunstakademie Leipzig; Matthew Joyce, UC Berkeley; Svetlana Boym, Harvard University; Alla Efimova, UC Berkeley Art Museum; Eva Forgacs, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
Abigail Solomon-Godeau, History of Art and Architecture, UCSB.3 p.m. -- Kabakov Reception, Outside Buchanan Hall near eternal flame.5 p.m. -- Kabakov lecture, "Total Installation:
How Art Shapes Our Experience of Space and Time." Isla Vista Theater.