Kerry Tribe

The Last Soviet, Kerry Tribe, 2010
HD video, 10:44 minutes
Photo credit: Rena Kosnett
Exhibition location: 100-inch Telescope Visitor Gallery
The Last Soviet (2010) tells the story of Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who was stranded on the Mir space station for 311 days in 1991 during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Video footage of a model of the interior of Mir constructed in Tribe’s studio is intercut with various archival materials related to this moment in history, including film footage of a performance of the ballet Swan Lake that was used to censor Russian news broadcasts of the political turmoil, images of tanks on the streets of Moscow, and photographs depicting aspects of the Russian space program. Throughout the image sequences, a male voiceover recounting the forgotten cosmonaut’s story from a personal point of view in English with Russian subtitles alternates with a female voiceover giving a historical account of the period in Russian with English subtitles. Tribe constructed the dialogue, which was recited by actors, so that there is a brief delay between the stories and the images that they apparently explain, enacting the fragmentary nature of historical accounts that are cobbled together through individual memory and bits and pieces of archival documents. Although The Last Soviet deliberately invokes the language of the documentary, it is impossible to distinguish fact from intentional fiction, calling into question the reliability of memory and the ways in which we invoke it to catalog and record our lives  – Corrina Peipon
Kerry Tribe‘s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Power Plant, Toronto, Modern Art, Oxford, the Camden Arts Centre, London and Arnolfini, Bristol. It has also been exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Generali Foundation, Vienna; Kunst Werke, Berlin; and SMAK, Gent. Her work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Hammer Museum, The Orange County Museum of Art and The Generali Foundation among others. She was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2005-2006, received her MFA from UCLA in 2002, was a Whitney Independent Study Program Fellow in 1997-98 and received her BA in Art and Semiotics from Brown University in 1997. Tribe is represented by 1301PE in Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works.