Special project VIENNA Highlight is a presentation of the INNOVATION Prize, the All-Russian Competition in Contemporary Visual Art, and this year’s “Curatorial Project” prize-winner Iara Boubnova, curator of “The Eye Never Sees Itself” exhibition, the main project at the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art.
Founded in 2005, INNOVATION Prize is now one of the most important art events in Russia. The National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) organizes the competition with the support from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The competition aims to promote and support artists and cultural entrepreneurs engaged in contemporary visual art practices, to identify major creative achievements, and to raise public awareness of outstanding developments in Russian contemporary art.
The purpose of the Prize is to promote and support artists engaged in contemporary visual art, identify the main creative achievements and raise public awareness in major processes in Russian contemporary art.
INNOVATION nominations: work of visual art; curator’s project; art theory and criticism; regional project; new generation; creative contribution into the development of contemporary art; support of Russian contemporary art.
The Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art is a key international event in Eastern Europe. In 2012, it presented the most compelling main project as well as special projects and parallel programs, among other things. Thanks to its integration in the global artistic context and the numerous participants from different countries, this unique project could involve local audiences into the international “biennale movement” and firmly placed Ekaterinburg on the world map of biennials.
The main project of the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, realized at the former Ural Worker Printing Press in Ekaterinburg; nominated by the Ural Branch of NCCA the main project of the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial refers to the vision and unique ability to distinguish
problem issues in the contemporary world of the vanishing past and unstable future. The title of the exhibition is a quote from a poem by Joseph Brodsky “Report for a Symposium”, which was written in 1989, on the eve of the fall of the Berlin wall. In his work Brodsky pointed out the necessity of finding a guiding “agent” in the situation of constant threat and danger. Today such an “agent” or visionary could be the artist – the one who determines the points of tension that generate global processes and the one who, by dealing critically with them, neutralizes the dangers contained there. When “animosity develops… vision is intensified”, the artist proves his or her competency in politics, economics, science, and other fields usually unrelated to art. Exploring the practice and product of contemporary artistic visions, the curator reflected on the ability of art to be a universal mediator and reform the world.
Iara Bubnova is a curator and art critic, founding director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia, curator at the National Gallery for Foreign Art, lecturer at the Sofia State University. Lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has curated numerous shows such as the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial (Yekaterinburg, 2012), the 1st Sofia Contemporary (2012), the 2nd Moscow Biennial (2007), and Manifesta 4 (Frankfurt, 2002) among many others. She has been juror, selector and nominator of various awards and is director of the Bulgarian section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics).