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Publication, Architecture Narratives, Editorial, Research Project

Project timeline

2015 – 2016


Education & Research

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Architect Change this

The Talented Ms. Zhukova Change this

The Talented Ms. Zhukova Editorial Project

1 of 5

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"Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn’t take money, masses of money, it took a certain security."
Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Ms. Zhukova is a research project on the IRIS Foundation and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. The project seeks to comprehend the relationship between architecture, collections and patronage in contemporary Russian Art promotion after the fall of the USSR by looking at the sudden emergence and global proliferation of privately funded yet publicly accessible contemporary art museums, cultural spaces, institutions and influential characters in the global scene since the mid-1990s. It aims to compare the history of these new cultural spaces with their counterparts in the West by interviewing architects, collectors, artists, and curators as well as by assembling drawings and other documentation.

The analysis is developed as a set of seven short stories that read into the particularities of the institution and its founder through its buildings; cultural investments and real estate projects; political agendas; the glamorous lives of Russian Oligarchy; the secret personalities of one of the world's biggest art collectors; and the relations between characters, only to unveil the mysteries behind the largest Archive of Contemporary Russian Art.


1. The Chest and the Jewel box

2. The Alternative’s Alternative

3. Hetero-Utopia

4. The Reality of Simulation

5. The Copycat

6. Finders Keepers

7. The Talented Ms. Zhukova


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