Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Artwork by Prigov.



CANCELLED: Prigov’s Distant Planets: A Presentation of the Project
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Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled.

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Registration required for attendance. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community. To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events. Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues.

Dmitry Alexandrovich Prigov (1940–2007) is one of the central figures of the Moscow conceptualism. Working at the intersection of poetry (visual and sound), prose, collage, drawing, performances, and installations, he was able to literally give voice to this art movement.

Prigov belongs to the generation of artists who entered the arena of Soviet culture in the second half of the 1960s – 10 years after the start of the radical social and cultural changes associated with Khrushchev’s so-called Thaw. It was in the late 60s — early 70s when unofficial art finally took shape and developed its own system of rules and modes of behaviour that were radically different from the mechanisms of the established Soviet culture. For the first time in many years, the developments in Soviet art – in its unofficial form – coincided with the developments in global art sharing its cultural mentality and style. This period is also associated with the emergence of conceptualist ideas in Soviet culture. Two principal factors shaped the new generation of artists: the realisation that all styles and trends in the field of culture operate as languages of description, and the understanding that high art can utilise all forms and configurations of the everyday language as its raw material.

The project Prigov’s Distant Planets was realised by the Prigov Foundation in 2021. Since 2011, the Foundation has set itself a goal to document and showcase Dmitri A. Prigov’s estate. In 2019 it actively began engaging Prigov’s legacy in a dynamic development by means of co-creation and dialogue with other artists and the audience. Prigov himself shifted between different genres of culture. His own artistic strategy included collaboration with other “cultural workers”.

The presentation of Prigov’s Distant Planets will start with short videos in the style of Prigov’s famous Addresses to Citizens, which he made for mobile phones in the early 2000s, followed by the videos of several international artists who originally participated in the Prigov’s Distant Planets project. These artists were invited to use their imagination to travel to far-away planets orbiting other stars, where Prigov might have been reborn as a resident of a very different world, and attempt visualising the new products of his unearthly creativity. What kind of extraterrestrial is Prigov? Is he a poet, a writer, an artist, a philosopher, or a scientist? What do his works look like and what do his writings sound like? Are they accessible to our perception and understanding? Can we catch a glimpse of Prigov in these works — the Prigov we used to know on Earth?

The first presentation of the project took place at the Yeltsin Centre in Yekaterinburg in May 2021 where it was realised thanks to the efforts and engagement of the Art Director of the Yeltsin Centre Art Gallery Ilya Shipilovskikh and his team, most of who had to leave Russia and now live in exile in different countries. At that point in time, it would have been difficult to imagine that the ideas and issues addressed in these works would take on such significance in the light of the current situation in Europe. Freedom, independence and peaceful cocreation are ideals and values that underlie Prigov’s oeuvre and shape the activities of the Prigov Foundation.

Curators: Andrey Prigov and Ekaterina Eloshvili

Andrey Prigov was born and grew up in Moscow. After studying social geography, social anthropology, and philosophy in Moscow, London, and Amsterdam he briefly taught organisational sociology to BA students, after which he worked for many years as a country researcher for a London-based energy concern. Since 1999 he has been active as an art project developer, curator, and artist. In 2010 he became a member of the Board of the Prigov Foundation. Since 2017 he has been heading the Foundation’s Prigov by Prigov programme concurrently running his own art and culture project organisations – Human Practiceand Novo Orbis. Andrey Prigov lives with his wife and daughter in Kolding, Denmark.

Ekaterina Eloshvili is a Tbilisi-born and Cologne-based curator. She is the director of the Krings-Ernst Gallery in Cologne and Artistic Director of the Prigov Foundation. Since 2000 she has curated and supported more than 50 exhibitions, among them: “Homage to Dmitry Prigov”  (Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2016); “Prigov: Addresses to Citizens” (documenta, Kassel, 2017), “DAP. Theatre of Revolutionary Action” (Calvert22, London, 2017), “DAP: Distant Planets“ (The Yeltsin Centre Art Gallery, Yekaterinburg, 2021); “DAP: Darkness” (Krings-Ernst Gallery, Cologne,  2022).

Participating artists: Dmitry Prigov, Markus Aust, Rochus Aust, Blue Noses, Richard Crow, Elle-Mie Ejdrup Hansen, Lyudmila Kalinichenko, Kseniya Larina, Akihito Okunaka, Roman Osminkin and the Techno Poetry Group, Natalia Pshenitshnikova, Andrey Prigov, Vladimir Seleznev, Ivan Snigirev, Jürgen Stollhans, Vadim Zakharov