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The Cupola

The Cupola

Noor Riyadh





Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s The Cupola (2003) is a large mixed-media installation which resembles a rose window in a cathedral: in the center, in the depths of the cupola, there is a white aperture from which colored “beams” radiate in all directions; their colors change, in infinite variations, in concert with the music playing under the cupola. The work is based on the ideas of the great Russian composer Scriabin, and other composers of the 1920s and 1930s, on the connection between sound and color. Originally conceived for the Ruhrtriennale, in Bochum, in 2003, it has been exhibited at the Madrid Arena in 2011 and at the Grand Palais, Paris in 2014. Beside its sculptural value, The Cupola is also considered by its creators as a site for other artistic and creative events. It is a “Gesamtkunstwerk” (“total work of art”) that unites visual, musical and performance art, reflecting on the experimental utopian projects of the early twentieth century.