Kandinsky Prize Winners Announced

Andrei Kuzkin and Taus Makhacheva receive awards for their projects.

The Kandinsky Prize winners were announced in Moscow last week. Now in its tenth year, the prize is awarded to artists, writers, and curators who have made a significant contribution to contemporary art in Russia.

The main prize this year was awarded to performance artist Andrei Kuzkin for his ongoing work “Right to Life.” The three-part project is a reflection on Andrei’s body of work: a retrospective of the artist’s performances, actions and events, a photographic exhibition of these actions with annotations, and an electronic book, in which the artist converts his visual work into words.

In 2008 the artist performed “In a Circle,” walking for hours in cement while it slowly stiffened. In “Whatever is out there,” (Sixth Berlin Biennale, 2010) Kuzkin lay in a plexiglass cube, completely shaved, with the names of illnesses drawn in Latin on his body. In his most famous performance, “All Ahead of You” (2011), the artist sealed all of his belongings in metal containers, with instructions for them to be opened in 29 years.

“Young Artist of the Year” was awarded to Taus Makhacheva for her video performance “Untitled 2.” The artist plays her alter ego — Super Taus – who is shown carrying a large statue of two women on her back through her hometown in Makhachkala, the Pompidou Museum and finally the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. The artist’s action pays homage to Maria Korkmasova and Khamisat Abdulaeva, two attendents at the Dagestan Museum, who in the 1990s stopped a robber from stealing the Rodchenko painting “Abstract Composition” (1918).