On the occasion of the Frankfurt book fair, the album cycle "10 Persons" by the famous Moscow-based artist Ilya Kabakov will be shown for the first time in its entirety. 420 loose cardboard-leaves with drawings and texts from 1972-1975 are put together to 10 bundles and represent an important part of the total of 50 works the artist created in this manner between 1970 and 1980. The albums are the condensed form of his artistic ideas which he later realised in large-format paintings and spatial installations. The series is supplemented by a current work created this summer.

The albums are originally conceived as a kind of house theatre. They consist of a heap of leaves with drawings, set on a lectern in front of the viewer and slowly turned. The pictures pass before the eyes of the viewer like a rhythmic film. For this intimate mode of viewing, the artist has now created with the installation at Portikus a unique form of presentation, so that the works can be made accessible for a larger audience.

The "10 Persons" are not real figures, but personifications of certain character traits, neuroses, obsessions, or visions, leading to the death of the respective protagonist at the end of each album. Clear and simple drawings lure the viewer and involve him/her in complex trains of thought leading from a concrete human fate to universal psychological, cultural, art-historical, and socially-critical reflections. A visual and a literary level embody various states of consciousness, which, at the beginning of each story, run parallel; in the end, however, they fall into line. The drawings develop as chains of variations; their precisely-dosed monotony throws the viewer back upon himself/herself, so that one's attentiveness oscillates between the pictures on the outside and one's inner experience.

Ilya Kabakov - "10 Persons"

1) Primakow sitting in a closet

2) Gorochow, the prankster

3) Generous Barmin

4) Surikow, the pest

5) Anna Petrowna has a dream

6) Komarow who flew away

7) The mathematical Gorski

8) The scribbler Malygin

9) The released Gawrilow

10) Archipow looking out the window + Life in quarrel (1988)