Watch an Exclusive Trailer for ‘Poor Folk,’ a New Documentary About Russian Conceptual Pioneers Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

The film's release coincides with Ilya's 85th birthday and the 10th anniversary of Moscow's Garage Museum.

Still from Poor Folk. Kabakovs. Russia, 2018. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ilya Kabakov, husband of Emilia Kabakov and one half of their artistic duo, is turning 85 this year. To celebrate, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow is debuting a new documentary about the couple titled Poor Folk. Kabakovs on September 6.

The film’s release also coincides with the 10th anniversary of Garage, which Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova opened in 2008 with a sprawling retrospective of the Kabakovs, who are often credited as pioneers of contemporary installation art.

Garage Screen Summer Cinema in the Arts Square. Photo by Ivan Simonov, courtesy Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

Filmmaker Anton Zhelnov documented the Kabakovs’ lives for two years in both New York and St. Petersburg. He took its title from a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, underscoring the Kabakovs’ artistic reflections on life in the former Soviet Union. In the film, Emilia and Ilya talk about the repressive regime, the underground Soviet art scene, and their eventual immigration to the US. (The couple currently lives in Long Island, New York.)

See an exclusive trailer for the film below.

Poor Folk. Kabakovs will be released September 6 as part of the Garage Screen series at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow.


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