In the framework of the 2016 edition of the Present Continuous program, supporting the new generation of artists in Russia and opening up its contemporary art to the wider world, four artists were shortlisted after being assessed by the specially invited Russian curators, critics, and editors: Maria Kravtsova, Valentin Diaconov, Valery Ledenev, Maria Semendyaeva, and Alexander Shchurenkov. These were Olga Jitlina, Sasha Pirogova, Alexander Plusnin, and Haim Sokol whose details were then passed to the jury to select one finalist. The jury consisting of Teresa Iarocci Mavica, M HKA Director Bart De Baere and guest jury member Katerina Koskina, Director of EMST, named Sasha Pirogova the winner and thus decided that her artwork would get into the M HKA collection. They commented that Sasha Pirogova was the final choice because of the rapid pace at which she committed herself to a precise goal. She originally trained in theoretical physics, but decided to become a dancer and from there moved into contemporary visual art. She translates existential contemporary issues into a language of relations between humans, objects and their environment.
Curators, critics, and editors: Maria Kravtsova, Valentin Diaconov, Valery Ledenev, Maria Semendyaeva, and Alexander Shchurenkov
Artists: Olga Jitlina, Sasha Pirogova, Alexander Plusnin, and Haim Sokol
Jury: Teresa Iarocci Mavica, Bart De Baere, and Katerina Koskina