Sep 7, 2017
Washington, DC, USA
On view September 7th, 2017, through April 29th, 2018
The exhibition’s light, sound, and motion models are activated at your approach.
The Utopian Projects features more than twenty of the Kabakovs’ maquettes and whimsical models. Engaging projects both realized and unrealized, this exhibition includes monuments, allegorical narratives, architectural structures, and commissioned outdoor works.
These elaborate creations are brought to life by the eccentric, imaginary characters that inhabit them, inviting the viewer into a miniature surreal world while simultaneously offering a rare glimpse into the duo’s artistic process. Lights, motors, text, and music enhance the whimsy and theatricality of each miniature environment, which the Kabakovs use to reinforce the metaphorical meaning of the work.
Opening nearly thirty years after the Hirshhorn hosted Ilya Kabakov’s first major US exhibition, The Utopian Projects includes the working studio models of such quintessential artworks as The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment (1985)—which was fully realized and presented at the Hirshhorn in 1990—and The Ship of Tolerance, a sixty-foot wooden sailboat that has been successfully launched all around the world and widely celebrated for its message of tolerance and hope. On May 25, The Ship of Tolerance was fully realized at the Vatican, under the patronage of the Holy See and Vicariate.
Curated by Stéphane Aquin, Chief Curator