Ilya and Emilia Kabakov create ‘total installations’ that are all-encompassing environments, in which viewers can find themselves completely absorbed by the atmosphere of the work.
Since the early 1990s, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov have collaborated to make complex installations that combine references to history, art, literature and philosophy. Much of their work has revolved around the creation of fictional characters and elaborate situations, and an interest in storytelling and fantasy underpins their art.
For their exhibition The House of Dreams at the Serpentine Gallery, the artists designed a new installation that responded to the tranquillity of the gallery’s setting within Kensington Gardens, employing walls, staircases, freestanding structures and white curtains to section off cubicle-like spaces replete with beds on which visitors could repose. Transforming the Serpentine in this way created a series of distinct meditative spaces, encouraging visitors to enter into a world of fantasy and daydreams.