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A Common StrangenessContemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature$
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Jacob Edmond

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242597

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242597.001.0001

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Dmitri Prigov and Cross-Cultural Conceptualism

Dmitri Prigov and Cross-Cultural Conceptualism

(p.125) Chapter Five Dmitri Prigov and Cross-Cultural Conceptualism
A Common Strangeness

Jacob Edmond

Fordham University Press

By examining the work of conceptual artist and writer Dmitri Prigov from the 1970s to the 2000s, this chapter argues that cross-cultural engagements profoundly shaped Russian culture in the two decades before as well as after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Negotiating the transition from underground readings to international contemporary art, Prigov developed a “global project” encompassing diverse discourses, genres, and media, and various local and transnational languages and cultural systems from samizdat to dinosaur mania, poetry to performance art. Prigov undermined each medium, language, or system’s totality by bringing them together––a process he called “intersection,” or peresechenie. Extending Mikhail Bakhtin’s view that the manipulation of genres is a form of agency, Prigov offers a model for understanding cross-cultural encounter and globalization that emphasizes both the unfreedom of endless repetition and the freedom of each gesture among the infinite possibilities of intersecting systems and languages.

Keywords:   Dmitri Prigov, conceptualism, poetry, contemporary art, globalization, Russia, Soviet Union, samizdat, Mikhail Bakhtin

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