Elena Sorokina

  • picks July 09, 2008

    “Like an Attali Report, but Different: On Fiction and Political Imagination”

    Standing in an abandoned stadium in Poland, a young man delivers a passionate political speech to completely empty tribunes. Pleading for Jews to return to Poland and “rebuild what never existed,” his speech, written by the left-wing Polish sociologists Kinga Dunin and Slawomir Sierakowski (who is also a politician), dwells in the liminal space between a realpolitik address and a fictional ceremony. Pressed into this exhibition’s constellation of ideas, the reading in artist Yael Bartana’s film touches on the newly ascendant nationalism in many European countries—aggressively neoliberal and full

  • picks June 06, 2008

    Dmitry A. Prigov

    In one of his recent performances, Dmitry A. Prigov attempted to teach a cat some patriotism: “Say, 'Russia'!” he insisted over and over, until eventually the cat responded with a meow. Prigov is famous for his performances, in which he usually chants his own texts or those he has appropriated, from Pushkin to Pravda. This long-overdue exhibition, the artist’s first solo show in Russia, is organized by Ekaterina Degot and surveys Prigov’s career as a poet, performer, and visual artist.

    A seminal figure of Russian Conceptualism, Prigov could be said to willfully (if ironically) embody the idea of

  • Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev

    “Into the Future,” the title of Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev’s recent exhibition at Plus Ultra (their first solo show in New York) has a specific connotation in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, where the artists live and work. As in all post-Soviet countries, the word future there retains an ideological undertone. Only ever paired with one adjective, glorious, it has traditionally signified an emergent Communist utopia. The first juxtaposition of images in Kasmalieva and Djumaliev’s two-channel video projection, also titled Into the Future (all works 2005), however, paints a

  • Marc Chagall

    In this exhibition, some eighty masterworks, which include the complete Marc Chagall collection of the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, shed light on the artist’s attempts to balance his characteristically unorthodox style, the abstract forms of Cubism, and the colors of Fauvism.

    To look closely at Marc Chagall’s Russian years is to immerse oneself in the vivid passions and relentless creativity of the artist, whose visual vocabulary from 1907 to 1922 oscillated between the pictorial richness of rural Russian-Jewish culture and the painterly inventions of numerous avant-gardes. In this exhibition, some eighty masterworks, which include the complete Chagall collection of the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, shed light on the artist’s attempts to balance his characteristically unorthodox style, the abstract forms of Cubism, and the colors