What We Shall See After Death


with Emilia Kabakov

YEAR: 2007



Collection of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov


Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Sannio di Benevento (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sannio di Benevento), Sannio, Italy
“La città che sale”: We Try to Build the Future, ARCOS – June 1 to October 14, 2007

Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome), Rome, Italy
“La città che sale”: We Try to Build the Future, MACRO – October 25 to January 31, 2008

Atlas Sztuki Gallery, Lodz, Poland
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: What We Shall See After Death, September 26 to November 16, 2008

Haunch of Venison Gallery, London, Burlington Gardens, United Kingdom
Mythologies, March 12 to April 25, 2009


In a very darkened space of a museum (the walls are painted a dark gray color), there are three objects illuminated by light bulbs (see sketch): a cone-shaped “funnel” that you can look into from above; two merging panels at waist level, the surfaces of which are arranged at an angle to one another; an object resembling a snail that has been cut in half.

One and the same plot is arranged on these objects, turned toward the viewer: a hilly landscape with a forest and glades, and among them are occasional human structures, sort of like small settlements. Around the edges of each object, lighting is erected in such a way that only one part of the landscape is brightly lit up, and the other part gradually turns out to be in semi-darkness.

The idea of the entire installation rests in the notion that after death we will see again that which we leave behind on this earth, but this time from a great height and in a new spatial configuration. All of these places, strangely illuminated, will float separately from one another, surrounded on all sides by the dark cosmos.



2007Megan BartonComment