venice

Dmitri Prigov, Composition with Labels, ca. 1995, ballpoint pen on paper, 11 5/8 x 8 1/4".

Dmitri Prigov

Palazzo Ca’Foscari

Dmitri Prigov, Composition with Labels, ca. 1995, ballpoint pen on paper, 11 5/8 x 8 1/4".

Those familiar with the poetry of Dmitri Alexandrovich Prigov (1940–2007) might be surprised to learn that he was actually educated as a visual artist, and in 1975 was accepted into the prestigious, conformist, and nepotistic Union of Soviet Artists. This unbefitting membership was certainly at odds with Prigov’s sardonic dissident poems and oddball performances, one of which, 1986’s Public Service Appeal, briefly landed him in a mental institution. This (in hindsight) comical episode might have had tragic consequences were it not for the looming political changes leading to the collapse of the Soviet regime.

Curated by Dimitri Ozerkov, the exhibition “Dmitri Prigov: Dmitri Prigov” is a massive effort undertaken by the St. Petersburg State Hermitage Museum’s 20/21 Project for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with the Centro di Alti Studi sulla Cultura e le Arti della Russia and

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