Dasha the Great

Dasha Zhukova’s is my favorite it-girl in the art world. Why? Her most recent projects all centered around the concept “GARAGE” are not only appropriate for the times and very witty but their most important role is to raise the visibility of Russia in the contemporary art world. Pretty noble ideas to splurge your millions and your boyfriends billions, if you ask me.

Most recently, I read that she’s hired Shigeru Ban to design the temporary pavilion that will house Garage Center for Contemporary Culture summer programs and exhibitions in Gorky Park , Moscow, set to open this Fall. Zhukova presented plans for the new pavilion in Moscow this week, which will contain a shop, a café, and a steel-walled exhibition within a 20-foot high outer wall built of paper tubes. The tubes will be insulated and waterproofed, allowing for a heated interior and a weather-resistant exterior.

Images courtesy of Garage Magazine

Shigeru Ban is famous for his innovative use of raw materials, including paper and cardboard tubes, and his use of eco-friendly building materials. His design for Garage’s new space uses locally produced paper tubes to create an oval wall, which will be 6 meters high. You can read about Ban’s other paper tube structures here. As it’s been documented on this blog before, I am a big fan of Shigeru Ban’s work, and having had the opportunity to work with him in the past immediately created an intimate connection with the project for me. Which means I write a blog and rave about it. Lucky you [big grin].

It’s hard not be drawn to Zhukova and her ambitious way of doing things. Firstly, she is wealthy by birth and even more so by association with her boyfriend Roman Abramovich, this modern day czarina says her self she’s not motivated by paper currency. She’s already got tons of that, literally. In an interview with the WSJ  in 2011 Zhukova  who is a very private person, allowed a rare glimpse into her vision and aspirations for the projects in Moscow and St. Petersburg by saying “It’s important to speak to an audience not just in Moscow” and “I actually love physics but art is where I thought I could make a difference for my country”. “…This wasn’t taken on with the idea to make some big bucks. We’ll do the best we can but we will have to compromise” she adds on her honest intention to do greater good for “Contemporary Russia”. Her inclinations are more utopian “I guess artists are living inspiration. There is something very pure about a person that fantasizes. I like hearing their stories, watching them work. Their take on the  world interest me.”

Your take on the world also interest us, Dasha, the great!

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