15 April at 7:30 p. m, Strelka Institute hosted the presentation of curatorial proposals, which finalized the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) competition for young Russian curators. The presentation was prepared by members of the EUNIC Cluster Russia — the Austrian Cultural Forum, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut, the Embassy of Sweden and the French Institute in Moscow, together with Strelka Institute.

The cultural attaché of the French Embassy, Igor Sokologorsky opened the event. Six finalists presented their project proposals, which were developed as part of internships in leading European cultural organisation: Das Weisse Haus (Austria) — Snezhana Vinogradova, Сentre Pompidou-Metz (France) — Alice Bogoyavlenskaya, The Nantes Museum of Fine Arts (France) — Daria Tkacheva, Färgfabriken (Sweden) — Sophia Gimon, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfallen (Germany) — Maria Weitz, and Artangel (Great Britain) — Anna Bitkina.

The theme for 2013, «Changing the City» addresses the idea of public art and urban interventions. Whilst working on project proposals, curators focused on reaching an audience outside the gallery and changing the urban environment through art. Response to the environment and initiating change in the city were among central evaluation criteria. The jury of the contest included a range of leading professionals in the field of art and architecture: Cuba Snopek (Strelka Institute); Julia Bychkova (Archstoyanie festival), Alice Prudnikova (Ural branch of the NCCA), Nikolay Palazhchenko — Head of the educational programme (Business School RMA), Daria Kurdyukova (Nezavisimaya Gazeta), and Yelena Krylova (The Art Newspaper Russia).

The French candidate, Daria Tkacheva won the contest. Daria graduated from the Vyatka State University of Humanities in 2005, majoring in culturology and history teaching. Since 2005, Daria has been working as an executive director and project manager at the Kirov-based, regional public organization, «Creative Youth Centre», and since 2011 she has been working as a senior fellow of the regional department of the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Nizhny Novgorod.

Daria’s proposal «Internal Environment» was recognized as the most promising for the city and realistic in terms of budget. The project aims to create dialogue between the Vyatka Art Museum building and its surrounding area, and between old and new museum buildings. There are three stages in the implementation of the project: an interactive audio installation near the Vyatka Art Museum, a performance by the «Migration» theatre in the space of an old museum located in the Repin mansion, and the screening of video documentation of the performance in the hall of the new building. The project is designed to draw attention to the problems of the old building and highlight its cultural significance by using new technology. The implementation of Daria’s project will be funded by a EUNIC grant to the value of 3000 EURO.

The Audience Award went to Sofia Guimon’s project focused on the documentation of the false façade — a fast-growing phenomenon within temporary architecture. Project proposals were followed by a presentation from last year’s winner, Anastasia Skvortsova who talked about the realization of her project «Infographics of Urban Space». At the end of the evening, Swedish politologist Daniel Urey from the Färgfabriken foundation for Contemporary Art gave a short lecture on contemporary approaches to urbanism.

The internship programme is part of a broad set of EUNIC Cluster Russia activities which aim to contribute to cultural diversity and to strengthen cultural dialogue, inside and outside of the EU through collaboration between European cultural institutes.