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Статья

"The Art of Penultimate Truth”: Dmitrii Prigov's Aesthetic Principles

The Russian Review. 2016. Vol. 78. No. 2. P. 186-208.
Lipovetsky M., Kukulin I. V.

The article discusses the corpus of Dmtri Prigov's manifestoes, articles, and programmatic interviews as a manifestation of a coherent theoretical concept. The author of the article argues that Prigov's theoretical ideas are structured in accordance with his own central artistic category-for which, oddly enough, he did not have a common name. The author refers to this category as performativity, although Prigov himself did not use this word, preferring to discuss the behavioral level, operational modes, characters, images (imidzhi), and so on. Performativity, in this interpretation, permeates the totality of an artistic practice, without exception. Texts, paintings, installations, actual performances, and any public utterance-interviews, for example-become "traces" of performative behavior. It is along these lines that one can speak about the performative life of the contemporary author, about the "behavior that is to be found within a non-playful art form, in which the typical type of conventional professional language does not imply (or rather, until the relevant time period, did not imply) the appearance of the creator, who by his presence relativizes the very value, durability, uniqueness, and self-sufficiency of the language of the objects he made." It is from this perspective that the author discusses the overarching meaning of Prigov's oeuvre as the grandiose mockery of societal cultural practices rather than a collection of self-sufficient works. This approach also elucidates Prigov's programmatic self-modeling as the trickster who can only fulfill the performative as the central category of contemporary culture. © 2016 The Russian Review.