Dmitri Prigov (November 5, 1940 – July 16, 2007) was a Russian writer and artist. Trained as a sculptor, Prigov was, together with his friend Lev Rubinstein, a leading figure in the new Russian conceptual art school in the 1960s, understanding performance as a form of art. Prigov wrote plays and essays, created drawings, video art and installations, and was performing music. It’s said that he has written nearly 36,000 poems.
In 1986, the K.G.B arrested Prigov and sent him to a psychiatric hospital briefly, after a street performance in which he handed out poetic texts to passers-by. This clip shows another performance by Dmitri Prigov from the same year. Here he performs his poem ’49th Alphabet’ in the studio of conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov together with the Avantgarde Jazz drummer Vladimir Tarasov.
Find the Russian poem as text here.