Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: How To Make a Paradise

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: How To Make a Paradise

Work in Progress Talk with Amei Wallach
Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 7:00pm

In conjunction with the visit of Artspeaks fellows and Soviet émigré artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, critic and director Amei Wallach will present her work-in-progress documentary on their lives and work. The director and artists will be in attendance at the screening to discuss their collaboration.

Amei Wallach, writer, critic, filmmaker, is in the throes of international film production. In her latest work, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: How To Make a Paradise, the most famous Russian artists in the world return to Moscow for their first ever exhibitions in their hometown, a citywide event that unleashes a lifetime of fears and memories from the Soviet past and the rootless immigrant present.

“The Kabakovs invited us to film them as they undertook the gargantuan task of installing what became six installations in five venues across Moscow,” explains Wallach, “ This became the organizing structure of our film portrait of the artists and their times.” Through archival footage, beautifully shot artworks, interviews with the Kabakovs and their friends, the film encompasses the sweep of Soviet history and the intimacy of the artist singing alone in the dark.

With work- in-progress footage, Wallach and her subjects, the Kabokovs, will walk us through the process of their collaborative documentary production, from the director-subject relationship to production planning, the challenges of fundraising, and distribution for independent film.

This event, produced in conjunction with Artspeaks, grants rare access to a filmmaker deeply engaged in the  process of production and the creative conversation taking place between three fellow artists and thinkers.

Amei Wallach is the director of critically acclaimed documentary on sculptor Louise Bourgeois, The Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine. In 1987, she journeyed to the Soviet Union to produce a five- part series on the effects of perestroika on the arts. There she encountered Ilya Kabakov and recognized his stature immediately. In 1995, she published the first artistic biography of the artist, Ilya Kabakov: The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away (New York: Abrams). Her articles have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Smithsonian, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Art in America and ARTnews. She was chief art critic for New York Newsday and on-air arts commentator for the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour. She has written or contributed to 11 books. She won a 2006 Best Show award from the International Art Critics Association/USA for her exhibition Neo-Sincerity: The Difference Between the Comic and the Cosmic Is a Single Letter.

Presented by the Film Studies Center in conjunction with the visit of Artspeaks fellows Ilya and Emilia Kabokov.