Ilya Kabakov: Monument to the Lost Glove

About the Exhibition

On a traffic triangle near Madison Square Park lies an old red-leather glove, forgotten by someone. Nine metal tablets are placed on metal poles near the glove, which is in the center of this half-moon around it. Externally this resembles a half-ring of music stands, erected for an open-air concert.

As one approaches each of these tablet/music stands, created by Ilya Kabakov (b.1933, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), what is on them becomes visible. The texts are engraved on their metal surfaces in 4 languages: French, English, German, and Russian. Each text—there are nine in all, the same number as there are tablets—are utterances by various “personages” about the “lost glove” that they have seen in the grass. It’s as though these are the utterances and thoughts that suddenly came into their heads, of course, in conformity with the personality of each, at the sight of the “unexpected discovery.” Everything taken together forms a unique spectrum of internal images, memories and associations, not without a certain degree of humor, sadness and poetry—as is the case with everything that involves our memory. Herein lies the justification for the name of the installation, “Monument to a Lost Glove”: any piece of nonsense, even a glove lost by someone, can acquire infinite value and significance if it is capable of touching something very important and dear to us in our memories, in our past.



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