Dmitri Prigov’s posthumous museum retrospectives have brought to light the enormous variety of his artistic heritage. Scholars have analyzed the diversity of his artistic utterances, particularly at the annual Prigov conferences that have been held since 2009. However, they have overlooked his trips across Russia with exhibitions, poetry recitals, and lectures. There are numerous traces of Prigov’s real or imaginary presence in the Russian regions, and his impact on local artistic, literary, and musical scenes can still be seen. He visited Volgograd, Voronezh, Yekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Norilsk, Perm, Samara, Smolensk, Tver, and Chelyabinsk (some cities more than once). How can Prigov’s impact on contemporary Russian art and culture today be measured? The documents, materials, and artifacts presented at the Triennial reveal the “reflected light” of his continuing influence. As he wrote in a poem, “While I’m alive, I can’t live everywhere at once. When I die, I’ll begin to live.”
Dmitri Prigov (1940–2007) was an artist, writer, playwright, actor, inventor, and one of the founders of the Moscow Conceptual School. In 1967, he graduated in sculpture from the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry. From the mid-1970s, he regularly held poetry recitals and published texts in samizdat (self-published) and émigré Russian-language periodicals. His first official publication appeared in the Soviet Union in 1986. Solo exhibitions include: Dmitri Prigov: From Renaissance to Conceptualism and Beyond, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow (2014); Dmitry Prigov: Dmitry Prigov, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and Ca’ Foscari University, Venice (2011); Boris Orlov, Dmitry Prigov, Struve Gallery, Chicago (1988). Group exhibitions include: Moscow–Berlin / Berlin–Moscow, 1950-2000, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin and State Historical Museum, Moscow (2003–2004); Kunst im Verborgenen: Nonkonformisten Russland 1957–1995, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, documenta-Halle, Kassel, Lindenau-Museum, Altenburg (1995); Between Spring and Summer: Soviet Conceptual Art in the Era of Late Communism, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Des Moines Arts Center, Des Moines (1990–1991); Mosca: Terza Roma, Sala 1, Rome (1989); and Ich lebe–Ich sehe, Kunstmuseum, Bern (1988). Author of over 35,000 poetic works and a number of novels, including Live in Moscow (2000), Only My Japan (2001), and Renat and the Dragon (2005).