Significant award for artistic research to Ilya Orlov

Ilya Orlov, born in 1973, is an artist and a doctoral student who delves deeply into the tradition of Russian avant-garde and re-evaluates the significance of avant-garde artistic activities today. According to the award-granting Board, he has advanced in his doctoral studies with exemplary determination and enriched the artistic research community at the University of the Arts Helsinki with his profound knowledge of Russian culture.

”Granting this award to a doctoral student supports the integration of art and artistic research in a great way,” says Director Anu Kehusmaa from Art Foundation Merita and continues to point out that the award is also a tribute to the University of the Arts Helsinki for their work as an international leader and developer of artistic research.

Jan Kaila, Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts, thinks that the foundation’s decision on the award’s recipient is groundbreaking. ”Until now, artistic research has received relatively small amount of support, so this gesture from Art Foundation Merita is very welcome.”

The award of Art Foundation Merita is worth 22,000 euros and it was granted in cooperation with the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts for the fourth time now. This year, it went for the first time to a doctoral student of the Academy of Fine Arts. The refocused award is meant to encourage students to start their doctoral studies and to lay the foundation for artistic research work after the degree.

The recipient of the award was announced on 8 May 2019 in the opening of the Research Pavilion in Venice. The Research Pavilion showcases aspects of artistic research at the world’s best-known contemporary art event, the Venice Biennale.

“The scholarship signals the deserved recognition of the professional merits of the Doctoral Program at Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts”, says Ilya Orlov. “I receive this prestigious prize with much gratitude, and want to use this occasion to thank all my colleagues for their criticisms, witticisms, tolerance, support and friendship, and for accepting me to the community.”

The award-granting Board of Directors consisted of Professor Heikki Hanka, Director Anu Kehusmaa from Art Foundation Merita, and Dean Jan Kaila and Professor Mika Elo from the Academy of Fine Arts.

Ilya Orlov’s webite:


Photo: Semyon Motolianets

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