Cologne

Vadim Zakharov

Kölnischer Kunstverein

For his recent show “Der Letzte Spaziergang Durch die Elysischen Felder” (The last walk through the elysian fields) 36-year-old Russian artist Vadim Zakharov transformed Cologne’s Kunstverein into an indoor park. Amid newly planted “meadows” of grass he laid down gravel paths and set out small trees to give the space an outdoor ambiance. Yet any assumption that this was meant as a serious simulation of nature, or even of a landscaped garden, was quickly dispelled by various surreal elements within the installation. A file folder with a jet of water spurting out of it, for example, might well have been interpreted as a reference to an outdoor fountain, but the predominant association was art historical—it seemed to reference in particular Duchamp’s urinal.

The most fascinating aspect of this show was how convincingly Zakharov managed to present both a completely new site-specific piece and,

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