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19 May 2016

The Innovation Prize Has Been Awarded

Text: Olga Muromtseva
Photo: Denis Kuznetsov, Dmitry Chuntul

The gala awards ceremony of the 11th Innovation Prize took place at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. It is the first time in the history of the competition that the laureates are awarded at a classical museum. This is why Innovation Prize 2015 ceremony can be called a groundbreaking event

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and its director Marina Loshak have demonstrated that they are open to contemporary Russian art, as they welcomed artists, critics, nominees, and members of the jury and expert committee of the competition. As always, guests of the ceremony could explore the nominated projects in brief but informative presentations projected on the screen at the White Hall of the museum. The very appearance of this screen was part of the scenography: when guests were seated, something started to inflate at the back of the stage – something that appeared to be the backdrop. Sounds of Yakutia drums, jaw-harps, and overtone singing added to the magical effect of the performance.

The first prize was the one ‘For the Support of Contemporary Art in Russia’, awarded to Leonid Mikhelson, founder and president of Victoria – The Art of Being Contemporary (V-A-C) Foundation. The foundation is currently refurbishing a historic building in Venice, to host an exhibition and educational center; in Moscow, they are turning the building of the former power station into a new space for culture.


For the first time in the contest’s history, the award ceremony was held in the White Hall of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

One of the most valuable awards is one for ‘Curatorial Project’, with five projects presented. The prize, diploma, and 500.000 rubles were awarded to Viktor Misiano and his multidisciplinary exhibition Elective Affinities.

Alisa Prudnikova took the prize for the ‘Regional Project of Contemporary Art’, with the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art.

In ‘Art Theory and Criticism’ nomination, Olga Shishko’s research catalogue The Avant-Garde Projections was the winner, bringing together contributions by 50 authors on the connections between the historic avant-garde and contemporary culture.

The penultimate award was that in the ‘New Generation’ nomination. It was given to Volga, a work by Aslan Gaisumov reflecting the personal experience of the artist whose family had to flee from Grozny during the first Chechnya war in 1995.

The ceremony was concluded by the second out-of-competition nomination – ‘For the Creative Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Art.’ To present the award to Boris Orlov, all members of the jury were up on stage, accompanied by the standing ovation from the audience.

Anna Zhurba, the curator of «The East. Deconstruction» project and the winner of a special award of the U-Art foundation.

The special prize of the U-Art foundation. Creator — P. Merabishvili

Iveta and Tamaz Manasherov, founders of U-ART Cultural Charitable Foundation, decided to give their special prize to young curator Anna Zhurba, whose project was nominated on par with senior curators.

‘This year, we award our special prize from U-ART Foundation to curator Anna Zhurba. I am more than happy to give this prize to a young and beautiful girl who is also a smart and thoughtful curator and researcher,’ says Tamaz Manasherov. ‘The East: Deconstruction project raises questions that are important for all of us born in the USSR and living in today’s Russia. Moreover, these days the same questions are relevant for the whole world, this is why this project manages to incorporate the Russian viewpoint in the international context. Young artists and their curator demonstrate the artificiality of certain concerns, and destroy some stereotypes of perception. Such statements are important and necessary,’ U-ART founder believes.

The award ceremony gathered all living icons of the contemporary Russian art



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