Artists Exhibitions Fairs France

Kabakovs’ massive commission

Artists to create a giant “city” for their forthcoming Monumenta show at Paris's Grand Palais next May

The Kabakovs are taking over the Grand Palais in Paris next year

The Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov will create a giant “city” for their forthcoming Monumenta commission, which will be shown at the Grand Palais in Paris next May. Speaking for the first time about the work, Emilia Kabakov says that it has been “a huge challenge” to create an installation for the building, which rises 45 metres in height to a glass ceiling.

She says The City is “very complex”; the work is “a kind of labyrinth” that will comprise seven “chapels”, or very large buildings. The show’s curator, Jean-Hubert Martin, explains that “visitors will enter through a gate to find the buildings”, which deal with “what’s beyond our physical experiences and our lives”. Kabakov says she hopes the work will make visitors “contemplate the meaning of life”.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (C41), which represents the artists in Europe, has been heavily involved in realising the project, which was previously put on hold after budget cuts. It will now go ahead with private sponsorship and money from the French and Russian ministries of culture.

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