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Nearly 10,000 people visit Russian pavilion at Venice Biennale in five days

On the opening day, traditionally, the laureates were announced. The best national pavilion award went to Latvia, the special jury prize to Belgium

VENICE, May 12. / TASS /. The Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale was visited by nearly 10,000 people during the preview days and the opening day, Semyon Mikhailovsky, the Head of the St. Petersburg Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture told TASS on Sunday.

"About 10 thousand people visited the pavilion on May 7-11," Mikhailovsky said.

The day before the Biennale was opened to the public; there were a few days of previews. On the opening day, traditionally, the laureates were announced. The best national pavilion award went to Latvia, the special jury prize to Belgium.

Arthur Jafa (USA) was recognized as the best artist, he received the Golden Lion, the Silver Lion, which was awarded to the young artist, was given to Haris Epamidonda (Cyprus). Special Jury mention was awarded to the artist Teresa Margolis (Mexico) and Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria). American sculptor and poet Jimmy Durham received the Golden Lion for his contribution to art.

Russian Pavilion

The curator of the Russian pavilion at the current Biennale was not set up by an individual, but by an entire organization - the State Hermitage Museum, headed by its director Mikhail Piotrovsky. The pavilion presents installations by the artist and set designer Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai, who is known for his work with film director Alexander Sokurov on the subject of Hermitage masterpieces.

Mikhailovsky told TASS earlier, that the guests of the pavilion will be able to see at the entrance the foot casts of the famous Atlantes decorating the portico in front of the entrance to the New Hermitage. In the upper pavilion space, there is an installation by Sokurov dedicated to the painting The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt. This year marks the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death.

Sokurov’s creative team included art directors Elena Zhukova and Lydia Kryukova, with whom he worked on the Faust and Russian Ark films about the Hermitage, directed by Alexander Zolotukhin, a graduate of the Sokurov workshop, and students of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. They created an installation that combines documentary film and animation, painting and sculpture. It uses scenes from paintings by old masters, including the work "The Return of the Prodigal Son".

In another space, visitors will see the installation of the "Flemish school" by artist and set designer Alexander Shishkin, working under the pseudonym Shishkin-Hokusai. Piotrovsky previously told TASS that the project presented in the pavilion is planned to be shown later in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and other cities.