From: “To Sir Henry Wotton”*

*verse letter from his friend John Donne – 1572-1631.

“…And seeing the snail which everywhere doth roam,

Carrying his own house still, still is at home,

Follow (for he is easy paced) this snail,

Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.

And in the world’s sea, do not like cork sleep

Upon the water’s face; nor in the deep

Sink like a lead without a line; but as

Fishes glide, leaving no print where they pass,

Nor making sound, so closely thy course go;…”


“The Palace of Projects, created by husband and wife Ilya (b.1933, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) and Emilia Kabakov (b.1945, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), is a spiraling architectural structure forty feet high and eighty feet in diameter. The nautilus-shaped Palace is constructed of a wood frame covered with stretched, white translucent fabric. Visitors walk through the Palace to explore more than 65 individual “projects” that provide entertaining and engaging suggestions for improving oneself and the world. The Palace of Projects is an archive of utopian ideas and stories told by fictional Soviet citizens. The “projects” include maquettes, paintings, and writings that propose remedies for the challenges of daily life and suggestions for personal growth and improvement.


“The project proposed below is precisely this kind of Palace of Projects, projects which for the most part may be naive and unrealizable, but in their concepts and intentions they have definitely earned the right to wind up in such a ‘Palace.’ An enormous quantity of similar ‘palaces’-monuments exists in the world: ‘Palaces of Transportation,’ ‘Palaces of Old Technology,’ where lathes and electric machines are exhibited, ‘Palaces of Ship Building,’ with amazing boats – everywhere there are things that had received their material form and were formerly realized and functioning in their own time. But it is no less important, and perhaps more so, to create a unique museum of dreams, a museum of hypotheses and projects, even if they are unrealizable. In many of them, the visitor to such a ‘Palace’ will encounter stimulus for his own fantasies, and much will prompt him toward the resolution of his own tasks, will awaken his imagination and, the main thing will provide the impulse for his own creative activity in a ‘positive direction.’

London, The Roundhouse (Organisation: Artangel)
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: The Palace of Projects, 23 Mar 1998 — 10 May 1998

Leaving Tracks: Artranspennine 98. An Exhibition of International Contemporary Visual Art. Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, 23 May 1998 — 16 Aug 1998

Madrid, Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
El Palacio de los Proyectos, 10 Dec 1998 — 30 Apr 1999

New York, Lexington Avenue
The Palace of Projects, 15 Jun 2000 — 13 Jul 2000 (Organisation: Public Art Fund)

Kunsthalle Göppingen, Germany

Ilya Kabakov: Universal System Zur Darstellung von allem / A Universal System for Depicting Everything, February 10 to March 31, 2002

Place Amélie Raba Léon, Bordeaux, France

Permanent installation (public commission), since October 10, 2009 (there referred to as La maison aux personnages)”

From Wikipedia:

The method of loci (loci being Latin for “places”) is a strategy of memory enhancement which uses visualizations of familiar spatial environments in order to enhance the recall of information. The method of loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique. This method is a mnemonic device adopted in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises (in the anonymous Rhetorica ad Herennium, Cicero’s De Oratore, and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria). Many memory contest champions report using this technique to recall faces, digits, and lists of words.

The term is most often found in specialised works on psychology, neurobiology, and memory, though it was used in the same general way at least as early as the first half of the nineteenth century in works on rhetoric, logic, and philosophy.”

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