The Composer


YEAR: 1988



Version 1

Collection Ford, Santa Monica.

Version 2

Collection of the artist.


Version 1

Ten Characters, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, 30 April – 4 June 1988 (as part of No 15, Ten Characters).

Ilya Kabakov. The Untalented Artist and Other Characters at the ICA London, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 23 February – 23 April 1989 (as part of No 15, Ten Characters).

Das Schiff – Die Kommunalwohnung, zwei Installationen von Ilya Kabakov, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, 2 June – 30 July 1989 (as part of No 15, Ten Characters).

Directions. Ilya Kabakov. Ten Characters, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, 7 March – 3 June 1990 (as part of No 15, Ten Characters).

See No 15.

Version 2

Ilya Kabakov. Der Lesesaal – Bilder, Leporellos und Zeichnungen, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 19 April – 28 July 1996 (as part of No 90, The Reading Room).

See Installation “The Reading Room,” Catalog No 90.


Each Sunday, just as the sleepy residents of the apartment were beginning their trips to the toilet, bath, and kitchen to put on the teapot, he would display his ‘scandalous hooliganism.’ He would take music stands out of his room, one after another, and arrange them in two rows along the entire length of the corridor so that the only way to pass by was to squeeze oneself up against the walls and doors to the rooms. Then he would start placing gray sheets of paper with drawings and texts on them, instead of musical notes, on the stands.

Every Sunday the same thing would be repeated: the residents, cursing, would push aside and toss about this barrier that had been placed in front of them, they would tear up the ‘notes.’ But nothing helped. At the end of the week, at exactly 9 o’clock in the morning, the ‘composer’ would bring the first stand out of his room…



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1988Megan BartonComment