Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Art entrepreneur's space odyssey gives Gorky Park a much-needed makeover


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The Independent Culture

Dasha Zhukova's art empire is expanding again. This weekend, the curator and partner of Roman Abramovich opens a new space in Gorky Park.

The Garazh Centre for Contemporary Culture left its original home, a former bus garage, in the spring after four years and has been settling into the park for several months, running a small summer café overlooking Pionersky pond and staging Michel Gondry's Home Movie Factory in a shed. Today, a new temporary pavilion, designed by Shigeru Ban (the architect behind the Pompidou's outpost in Metz) opens with a show about the various structures that have popped up in the park from its opening in 1928 through the avant garde to the present day.

The opening heralds a new era for Moscow's famous park. Last year, the seedy kiosks and fairground rides were stripped out and replaced with white beanbags and wi-fi stations. A multi-million dollar project (funded in part by Abramovich and overseen by London practice LDA Design) aims to renovate the entire 300-acre site by 2018. A more permanent home for Garazh will open next year in a derelict Soviet restaurant. Rem Koolhaas' design will leave the ruins of the prefab building, including original Soviet mosaics and Noughties graffiti, largely untouched, and will wrap the concrete walls in a translucent skin. In the longer term, Garazh will also take over the 8500sqm Hexagon pavilion in the park.

The late lady could soon be living the American dream

A sudden death in childbirth signalled the end for Lady Sybil but for Jessica Brown Findlay, things are just beginning. The Downton Abbey actress, 23, is now taking off in America and is currently being mooted to star opposite Chris Evans in the new Captain America sequel Winter Soldier.

She has already filmed a mini-series based on Kate Mosse's bestseller, Labyrinth and executive produced by Tony and Ridley Scott and will shortly shoot the New York time-travelling drama Winter's Tale opposite Will Smith, Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe. It seems that being written out of the ITV blockbuster has happened at just the right the time.

Friel's a face to watch in Chekhov's family portrait

Chekhov your diaries! Next month, there will be a Seagull, two Vanyas, and a Three Sisters running in London. Three Sisters closes its extended run at the Young Vic on 3 November and will be followed by Anya Reiss's new Seagull at Southwark later that week. Meanwhile, two Vanyas open three days and just metres apart in the West End – Lindsay Posner's production, starring Anna Friel has its press night on 2 November, and Moscow's Vakhtangov Theatre on 5 November. But what's this? An invitation from the producers of Posner's Vanya for 5 November? Don't they realise there's a clash?

A body of art that's good enough to eat

Finally, a Frieze post-mortem. Or rather, an autopsy on a curator that was conducted at the fair by Bedwyr Williams, who will represent Wales at the 2013 Venice Biennale. The curator in question was a man-sized cake, with sponge organs and marzipan skin. The autopsy detailed his “larger than normal” brain, “small” heart and a liver that “has done some boozing”. The body was then sliced up and offered to spectators. Louise Wright of Arts Council Wales ate a finger, while presenter Tim Marlow manfully swallowed the deceased's manhood.