Memorial to Useless Things


YEAR: 1998



The artist

1999, Loan by the artist to the Sprengel Museum Hannover


Antwerp, MUHKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen
16 Installaties, 17 Apr 1998 — 23 Aug 1998 (as part of No 118, 16 Installations, Room 2)

Goslar, Mönchehaus-Museum für Moderne Kunst
Ilya Kabakov, 16 Oct 1998 — 3 Jan 1999

Hannover, Sprengel Museum
Ilya Kabakov. Zeichnungen, 14 Mar 1999 — 16 May 1999


A wooden ‘mausoleum’ is built in the center of the hall, and if you ascend it up the stairs, you discover on top a unique sarcophagus, a long, flat crate. In each compartment of this crate some kind of ‘useless thing’ is preserved: an old glove, an empty matchbox, a worn shoe, etc. Each of the things is accompanied by a text resembling a brief epigraph. All of this together is a unique memorial to things that at one time were useful, but that has grown old. This memorial now preserves the memory of their past life. All of this serves to make us ascend the steps with respect and in silence.



1998Megan BartonComment