In the presence of the director
To mark Ilya Kabakov’s 85th birthday, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Garage Museum in Moscow, Anton Zhelnov directed “Poor Folk”. In the documentary, Ilya Kabakov talks about his sources and influences, including his mother’s tragic life, which had a profound effect on his artistic career. Together with his wife and collaborator Emilia he discusses several topics. They talk about Soviet underground art, the birth of Moscow Conceptualism, their emigration to the USA, and international acclaim after thirty years of almost no exhibitions, as Kabakov did not show his work at state-sanctioned exhibitions in the Soviet Union. Ilya and Emilia’s work can today be seen in the world’s most prominent museum collections, including MoMa, Centre Pompidou and Hamburger Kunsthalle. The film gives an exclusive insight into the couple’s life and work, because it includes previously unpublished photographs and videos from their personal archive and from the Garage Archive Collection.