Poor Folk. Kabakovs: documentary on the life and work of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov – watch the trailer here

Ilya Kabakov and Emilia Kabakov, The Six Paintings about the Temporary Loss of Eyesight (They are Painting the Boat), 2015, oil on canvas, 1120 x 1960 mm. Private collection © Ilya & Emilia Kabakov. 
Courtesy the artists and Pace Gallery


On the occasion of Ilya Kabakov’s 85th birthday (and to mark it’s 10th anniversary) Garage, Moscow, has produced a documentary film on the life and work of Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.

A decade since Garage opened with a retrospective of the artists’ works, the museum is now releasing a documentary about the Kabakovs. Titled Poor Folk. Kabakovs, the documentary takes its name from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s first novel published in Russia and ‘reflects the Kabakovs’ choice of characters for their works: ordinary people and the small dramas of their life in the Soviet Union.’

Filmed between 2017 and 2018 at the Kabakovs’ home on Long Island and in St. Petersburg, Poor Folk. Kabakovs includes previously unpublished photographs and videos from their personal archive and from Garage’s Archive Collection.

Poor Folk. Kabakovs will be shown on 6 September at Garage as a part of the CENTER Festival. 

You can read more about Ilya and Emilia Kabakov in ArtReview Asia’s feature published in the Winter 2017 issue here.