Dmitri Prigov’s iterative poetics

Prigov 22-ia azbukaMy article on Dmitri Prigov’s “iterative poetics” (free download to 17 Jan. 2015) is just out in a special issue of Russian Literature, which also includes illuminating articles by Mary Nicholas, Ksenya Gurshtein, and Dennis Ioffe, who edited the issue. In my essay, I discuss––amongst other things––a few of the lesser-known works in Prigov’s famous Azbuka or Alphabet series, including his 22-ia azbuka (22nd Alphabet), pictured here. For a very different example of Prigov’s alphabet works, see the extraordinary video of Prigov performing his 49-ia azbuka or 49th Alphabet with the musician Vladimir Tarasov in the apartment studio of Ilya Kabakov in Moscow in 1986, along with Gerald Janecek’s commentary. My article focuses on how Prigov uses serial forms, exemplified by the alphabet series, to combine performance, sculpture, installation art, literary text, bookwork, and other genres and media in a single multimedia or post-media artistic practice. It also interrogates the wider implications of this practice for media and art theory and for conceptions of freedom.

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About Jacob Edmond

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia University Press, 2019), A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, 2012), and of numerous essays, which have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, Slavic Review, and The China Quarterly.
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