TOTAL ENLIGHTENMENT. MOSCOW CONCEPTUAL ART 1960–1990
The exhibition offers a comprehensive survey of conceptual art in late and post-Soviet Russia for the first time which is still only little known in the West. Moscow Conceptualism already emerged in the Soviet underground in the late 1960s, its performances, installations, and texts reflecting the existential experience of being part of a political concept. Since the world of art was subject to strict ideological censorship in the Soviet Union, the Moscow Conceptualists' activities turned political and critical because they claimed the privilege of interpretation reserved to the Communist Party alone. Presenting artists like Erik Bulatov, Ilya Kabakov, Komar/Melamid, Alexander Kosolapov, Igor Makarevich/Jelena Jelagina, Andrej Monastyrskij, Boris Mikhailov, Dmitri Prigov, Leonid Sokov, and Vadim Zakharov, the exhibition connects with the Schirn's show "Dream Factory Communism" dedicated to the world of Soviet art under Stalin's regime.
This comprehensive publication is devoted to the Conceptual Art movement in Russia, still relatively unknown in the West, of the late and post-Soviet period. Like their contemporaries in the West toward the end of the sixties, Conceptual artists in Moscow reflected on the existential experience of being part of a political concept. In a radical departure from the romantic image of the autonomous artistic genius, the viewer is included in the art; processes of production and conditions of reception are exposed.