Cosmoscow Blog

The “Blizhe” platform open competition

Cosmoscow Foundation announces an open competition for educational courses as a part of the launch of the "BLIZHE" platform.

The Cosmoscow Foundation for contemporary art support has won the "Common Cause" competition organized within the framework of the "Effective Philanthropy" charity program by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation!

Owing to having been awarded with the grant, we are preparing the launch of a new educational platform "Blizhe" and announce an open competition for experimental forms of online courses. We invite Russian artists who raise in their practices the questions of the social role of contemporary art and use the methods of critical, experimental and feminist education to participate in the competition. The competition will be held from 20 to 31 may 2020. The winners will receive an honorarium in the amount of 30. 000₽ for developing the course and a budget in the amount of 20.000₽ for its production.

The "Blizhe" platform will be a logical continuation of the Cosmoscow Foundation work, which is aimed at implementing educational programs and promoting contemporary art to the widest audience. The platform will consist of 15 separate educational author courses (webinars, podcasts, online workshops, virtual conferences and performative lectures) to be held on a regular monthly basis starting from June to December 2020. All educational courses at the "Blizhe" platform will be free and available to everyone. Platform website:

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the increasing spread of distance learning and online schools, encouraging many practitioners to redesign their courses for new realities. The "Blizhe" platform is conceived as a testing ground for experimental distance learning opportunities for Russian artists who use educational formats in their practices and are driven by a sincere interest in the latest scientific achievements and technologies, innovative educational models, themes and research methods, demonstrating a wide range of participatory practices that are possible for use in artistic and educational projects for different audiences.


Alexander Burenkov,
curator of the Cosmoscow Foundation for contemporary art support:

"Educational formats, methods, programs, models, terms, processes and procedures have been widely spreading since the mid-2000s, both in the curating practice and in the production of contemporary art, as well as in the accompanying critical framework. Curators, artists, and other creative professionals are more and more collaborating in their projects with communities and institutions, based on strategies derived from the tradition of critical pedagogics. The number of curatorial and artistic projects dedicated to education within the art space and its problems, and addressing various educational methods, is continuously growing. This trend is described by art theorist Irit Rogoff as an" educational turn". At the same time, some educators in museums and art institutions are developing new concepts of learning with the intention of re-appropriating practices that they believe were captured by curators.

In addition, in the last decade, discussions of "an artistic research" and "art as knowledge production" have flooded both art-critical periodicals and academic art criticism literature, as well as almost all the currently available discursive platforms of the art system, becoming one of the main concepts of modern art discourse. Together with the "educational turn", these concepts have become a consequence of the current political and economic reality of modern art, reflecting the general changes in the fundamental economic structures and mechanisms, as well as forms of social production, and contribute to rethinking the role and place of art in the new political, economic, socio-cultural and, most importantly, technological realities."

Participants of the open competition are invited to comprehend the potential of distance art education as a practice that radically changes thinking process, and to search for a fundamentally new alternative to existing online courses.

Applications for participation in the competition are accepted by mail until may 31, 23: 59 (Moscow time). Message subject: "Blizhe" competition, full name of the author". Each application must contain contact information for feedback and the following documents in word or pdf format:
- Description of the educational course (General concept, project implementation plan, course schedule and possible dates),
– Project estimates (estimated costs for course production),
- CV of the author(s) of the educational course / biography information in the form of text,
- Portfolio of previously implemented projects.

The Vladimir Potanin Foundation supports institutional and individual projects in the fields of culture, higher education, and the development of Russian philanthropy. Over the 21 years of the Foundation's operation, the number of grantees and partners has exceeded 35,000. In March 2020, the Foundation's founder donated a billion rubles to support the non-profit sector in the face of global instability: The Vladimir Potanin Foundation opened applications for three anti-crisis grant competitions ("Common cause", "New dimension" and "School of Philanthropy"). The Vladimir Potanin Foundation also offered assistance to its current grantees and partners by providing flexible conditions for implementing previously supported projects.