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Dmitri Prigov

Dmitri Prigov

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Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov (Cyrillic: Дми́трий Алекса́ндрович При́гов) (5 November 1940 – 16 July 2007) was a Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n writer and artist. Prigov was a dissident
Dissident
A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement....

 during the era of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and was briefly sent to a psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 in 1986.

Early life and career


Born in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russian SFSR, Prigov started writing poetry as a teenager. He was trained as a sculptor, however, at the Stroganov Art Institute in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and later worked as an architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 as well as designing sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s for municipal parks.

Artistic career


Prigov and his friend Lev Rubinstein were leaders of the conceptual art
Conceptual art
Conceptual art is art in which the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many of the works, sometimes called installations, of the artist Sol LeWitt may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions...

 school started in the 1960s viewing performance as a form of art. He was also known for writing verse on tin cans.

He was a prolific poet having written nearly 36,000 poems by 2005.
For most of the Soviet Era, his poetry was distributed as Samizdat
Samizdat
Samizdat was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader...

 circulating underground with his poetry not being officially published until the end of the Communist era. His work was widely published in émigré publications and Slavic studies journals well before it was officially distributed.

In 1986, the K.G.B arrested Prigov, who performed a street action by handing poetic texts to passers-by, and sent him to a psychiatric institution before he was freed after protests by poets such as Bella Akhmadulina.

From 1987 he started to be published and exhibited officially, and in 1991 he joined the Writers’ Union. He had been a member of the Artists’ Union from 1975.

Prigov took part in an exhibition in the USSR in 1987: his works were presented in the framework of the Moscow projects “Unofficial Art” and “Modern Art”. In 1988 his personal exhibition took place in the USA, in Struve’s Gallery in Chicago. Afterwards his works were many times exhibited in Russia and abroad.

Prigov also wrote the novels Live in Moscow and Only My Japan, and was an artist with works at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art is a museum of modern and contemporary art located in Moscow, Russia. It was opened to public in December 1999. The project of the Museum was initiated and executed by Zurab Tsereteli, president of the Russian Academy of Arts....

. He had many strings to his bow writing plays and essays, creating drawings, video art and installations and even performing music.

Prigov, together with philosopher Mikhail Epstein
Mikhail Epstein
Mikhail Naumovich Epstein is an American literary theorist and critical thinker. He is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia...

, is credited with introducing the concept of "new sincerity
New Sincerity
New sincerity is a term that has been used in music, aesthetics, film criticism, poetry, literary criticism and philosophy, generally to describe art or concepts that run against prevailing modes of postmodernist irony or cynicism.-New sincerity in music:...

" (novaia iskrennost' ) as a response to the dominant sense of absurdity in late Soviet and post-Soviet culture. Prigov referred to a "shimmering aesthetics" that (as explained by Epstein) "is defined not by the sincerity of the author or the quotedness of his style, but by the mutual interaction of the two."

In 1993 Prigov was awarded Pushkin Prize of Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. and in 2002 he won Boris Pasternak Prize.

Dmitri Prigov died from a heart attack in 2007, aged 66, in Moscow. He had been planning an event where he would sit in a wardrobe
Wardrobe
A Wardrobe is a cabinet used for storing clothes.Wardrobe may also refer to:* Wardrobe , a full set of multiple clothing items* Wardrobe , part of royal administration in medieval England...

 reading poetry while being carried up 22 flights of stairs at Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

.

Spelling of his name


Prigov's name in his native Russian Cyrillic lettering, Дми́трий Алекса́ндрович При́гов, has been rendered in English in various ways, with variations in the spelling of his first and middle names:
  • Dimitri Prigov – Associated Press
    Associated Press
    The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

    , The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

  • Dimitrii Aleksandrovich Prigov
  • Dimitrij Aleksandrovich Prikov, Russian Literature, a periodical
  • Dmitry Aleksandrovich Prigov – Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Dimitry Prigov – The St. Petersburg Times (English language, Russia) The Moscow Times

External links