Press Release. Moscow, 10 November 2019

The strategic management of the Pavilion has been given to Smart Art company. Teresa Iarocci Mavica has been appointed commissioner of the Russian Pavilion in the Giardini, main exhibition area of the Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia), the largest international exhibition in Europe. The respective order was signed by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinasky on November 8, 2019.

The strategic management of the Pavilion has been given to Smart Art company. For 10 years, Smart Art will be working to ensure financial independence and sustainable development of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale: it will provide professional support for projects on stages of their preparation and implementation, as well as maintaining the infrastructure of the building that needs special and careful treatment.

Anastasia Karneeva, Smart Art Co-Founder:
“This long-term lease will allow us to think big, plan proactively and act strategically. First of all, the Pavilion needs restoration. We are currently conducting an examination of the building and preparing for restoration meeting all necessary requirements providing a proper fire safety system, ensuring accessibility conditions for people with disabilities, air conditioning and so on. This way, the Russian Pavilion will become not only comfortable and technically equipped but also open to a diverse audience.”

Smart Art will carry on the work of previous commissioners and curators, professionals who have done a lot to integrate Russian contemporary art into the international context. Together with the Ministry of Culture, Smart Art has formed an international Art Council, an advisory body aimed to promote the wide spreading of information about the Pavilion and its sufficient positioning on the international art scene. The list of Art Council members includes artists Emilia Kabakov and Vadim Zakharov, curator Francesco Bonami, Director of the M KHA Museum in Antwerp Bart de Baere, Director of the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow Marina Loshak.

Smart Art begins its cooperation with the new commissioner of the Russian Pavilion appointed by the Ministry of Culture — Teresa Iarocci Mavica, a professional who has provided significant support to contemporary art in both in Russia and abroad. All procedural decisions will be made in a transparent and collaborative nature, with the involvement of a working group of experts forming the current agenda. In December, the commissioner of the Pavilion and Smart Art will present a project for the Biennale dell’ Architettura 2020 and a schedule of forthcoming events.

Teresa Iarocci Mavica

Teresa Iarocci Mavica is General Director of V–A–C Foundation. Together with Leonid Mikhelson, Teresa Iarocci Mavica set up V–A–C Foundation in Moscow in 2009. Born in the town of Campobasso, in Southern Italy, Teresa Iarocci Mavica graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Naples L’Orientale, where she specialised in Soviet Studies.

In 1989, she moved to Moscow to continue her studies thanks to a grant from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Academy of Science. In 2003, Teresa Iarocci Mavica directed the first Russian gallery showing Western art in Moscow, and in 2006 she co-founded and led the ‘Contemporary City Foundation (Sovremenniy gorod) an experimental platform for young curators and artists in Moscow.

The first of its kindin Russia, Contemporary City offered a free space for unknown artists and art professionals in which to create and show their work, recognising and supporting their careers in the arts. Since 2011, Teresa Iarocci Mavica has been a Member of the Board of Art-Finance, Ltd., and Curator of the Gasprombank Corporate Collection. Teresa is a collector and keen patron of the arts. In June 2013, she was awarded the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity by the decree of the president of the Italian Republic. The honour officially recognises the preservation and promotion of national prestige abroad, the development friendly relations and collaboration between Italy and other countries. She was a member of Tate’s Russia and Eastern Europe Acquisition Committee (REAC) from 2015 to 2018, and since 2016 has been on the Supervisory Board of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. In May 2019, Teresa became a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Smart Art

Smart Art was established in 2016 by Anastasia Karneeva and Ekaterina Vinokurova as a company that supports contemporary Russian artists and fosters the development of the local art scene. Smart Art founders have a vast international experience. The list of their accomplished projects include personal exhibitions by Sergey Sapozhnikov (Drama Machine), Daria Irincheeva (Empty Knowledge), Sveta Shuvaeva (Lake View Limited Offer), Alexandra Galkina (Welcome Under The Table), Alexandra Paperno (Abolished Constellations), Alexey Buldakov (Thumbelina), Anastasia Potemkina (When the Flowers Do Not Cast Shadows), Daria Irincheeva, (Continuous Function), and Fomosapiens group exhibition In 2019, Smart Art became an official operator of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale for the next 10 years.

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