It was a day for congratulations in Moscow, when Russia’s National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA) revealed the finalists for the competition to design its new building. Last October, the NCCA jury – which includes Baibakov Art Projects’ Maria Baibakova – announced a shortlist based on two types of entries: those who submitted their portfolio, and those who submitted a concrete concept. Shortlisted bureaus included Steven Holl, 51N4E, Alejandro Aravena, Ghirardelli Giancarlo Architect, and the WAI Architecture Think Tank, ensuring that the jury couldn’t make a poor choice. This afternoon, the NCCA Jury announced that the finalists for the competition were Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Heneghan Peng and the Moscow-based (our former neighbors at Red October Chocolate Factory, actually!) MEL. We are very excited to see the proposals for each of the three, which you can find here on the website for the new NCCA.
Meanwhile, the Kandinsky Prize upheld last year’s surprise twist (which saw a tie between two of the three nominees for Project of the Year), by announcing yet another tie – this time for Young Artist of the Year. Both Evgeny Granilschikov and Tim Parshikov were honored (leaving only Nadya Grishina empty-handed.) While the Russian art world debates how much relevance the Kandinsky Prize still holds (a common response to this year’s shortlist was “Who?”), last year’s laureate in the emerging artist category, Dmitry Venkov, went on to have a very busy year, moving to Moscow’s Triumph Gallery and showing his films in biennales in Bergen and Moscow. We wish Evgeny and Tim a similar streak.
As for the Project of the Year, this year the top nominees included Anya Zholud (who had a so-subtle-you-might-miss-it inclusion in Daniel Birnbaum’s 53rd Venice Biennale) and Recycle (who’ve been gaining a following for their inventive uses of disposable materials – eg, stained glass windows out of ice cream taster spoons), but the award went to Irina Nakhova, who created a three-channel video drawing from historical archives. While we have to confess, we don’t know her work very well, this kind of moment is exactly what keeps the Kandinsky Prize relevant.
Congratulations to all the laureates and finalists!