The official opening of the Russian pavilion took place on 6 May. Irina Nakhova’s “Green Pavilion” is a multi-media installation on the themes of light, architecture and historical memory. This is the first monographic exhibition by a woman artist in the entire history of the Russian pavilion. The curator for the display was Margarita Tupitsyn.
This time the building designed by Alexei Shchusev in 1914 has undergone some change: instead of its usual beige colour, it has been turned a bottle green. That had been the architect’s original idea, and Irina Nakhova decided to stick with it: “...I think that the colour the pavilion had before completely ruined Shchusev’s architecture. It was really supposed to be something suitable for a garden, which immediately implies that the main structure would have a dark colour. That was my initial impression. I had no idea at the time that the original pavilion was dark-hued. But my urge to paint it green so that it would fade into the trees and the waters of the lagoon was absolutely spontaneous and quite irresistible. Right from the start, the idea came up to coat the exterior walls with a dark but reflective covering so that they would mirror everything that was going on around them, so that the walls would disappear and all that would remain would be the white elements — the columns, entablatures and base that would reveal it as a gazebo and show its debt to garden architecture.”
The pavilion’s division into separate exhibition spaces prompted the artist to return to her “Rooms” series of installations from 1983 and 1987 that were transformations of a room in her own apartment. There were five installations corresponding to the five galleries of Shchusev’s pavilion. Nakhova has said that “Green Pavilion” was constructed along the lines of her own dreams.
The official opening was attended by: Marina Abramović, Viktor Vekselberg, Alexander Rodnyansky, Dasha Zhukova, Vasili Tsereteli, Zelfira Tregulova, Aliona Doletskaya, Alexandra Vertinskaya, Emilian Zakharov, Mark Garber, Ksenia Chilingarova, Andrey Bartenev, Silvia Burini, Leyla Aliyeva, Kristina Krasnyanskaya, Oleg Kulik, Aidan Salakhova and others.