Irina Korina

Moscow Museum of Modern Art

One of the few Russian words Walter Benjamin used in the diaries he kept while in Moscow in the 1920s was remont. Apparently he found the German term for renovations too weak to convey the scope and urgency of efforts to undo the chaos wrought by revolution and civil war. For Benjamin, remont was a phenomenon specific to the Soviet Union at that time. He could not have suspected that in Russia, remont never stops. In the 1990s it spawned the mutant euroremont: The new advertising class began tacking on the prefix to lend bourgeois glamour to synthetic furnishings made in Turkey or China. Euroremont equals remont in magnitude, but it also implies a vulgarly exaggerated eager- ness to efface the past.

Euroremont, or the study of it, is Irina Korina’s specialty. The nine works in “Installations,” her first solo museum exhibition, incorporate wallpaper, carpeting, and other home improvement

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