Ilya Kabakov

Galerie Pakesch

The viewer as marksman, the show as a rifle range, the paintings as targets? This may be a rash response to this installation entitled Die Zielscheiben (The targets, 1991) by Ilya Kabakov, where he has spread rocks, crumpled newspapers, and wooden cudgels as weapons on the floor. A few shards are already in the paintings, the “targets.” However, Kabakov does not want this installation to seem all that clear-cut—for it to be taken simply as a banal civil-war scenario or as a dissident barricade against the perestroika stormers. This is an internal esthetic matter, i.e., iconoclasm, the storming of images. The three compartments, rigged up as shooting galleries with unfinished plank partitions, are not without a militant character, against which, the artist assures us, art has been immune for a long time now.

Commentaries in the works reveal the artist’s concerns—art and its inability to

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.