The Russian art world is changing, rapidly. So rapidly, we hardly recognize it from the world of five years ago. In fact, it’s safe to say, we barely recognize it: most of the names on the shortlist for the 2013 Kandinsky Prize (ArtChronika Foundation‘s annual competition, not to be confused with the state-run Innovation Prize) are relative newcomers, most familiar to those acquainted with Katya Degot‘s program at Moscow’s Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia.
In recent years, the New Media prize was clipped, so that now the honor is split into two categories: Project of the Year and Emerging Artist. As traditionally the case with the Russian art scene, there is little distinction between the categories, with artists like Elikuka, Ira Korina, Dmitry Kawarga and Recycle drifting comfortably between the two.
This year’s shortlist – 20 nominees for the Project of the Year and 17 for Emerging Artist – was drawn for 372 total applications. Among the top nominees are fresh projects from past staples like Aidan Salakhova (who is nominated for the very same series of works barred from the Azerbaijani Pavilion in Venice in 2011), Escape-escapee Liza Morozova, and a special nod to the recently-deceased Vlad Mamyshev-Monroe.
Among the younger entries, however, one finds plenty of new names – among them, Alexey Korsi, Sasha Pirogova, and Ilya Dolgov – that should give Russia some hope for future generations. We look forward to the shortlist exhibition, which should give us a primer on all these up-and-comers. (That exhibition opens September 12, by the way, and will remain open through October, which means it will be on view for all those coming for the Moscow Biennale or ArtMoscow.)
Find the full shortlist of 2013 Kandinsky Prize nominees here.