Saturday, March 12, 2011

RUSSIA - Artists annoying but unavoidable

Next April will be awarded the Russian Innovation, which recognizes works of contemporary art. Now the list of nominees include the sensational group performance Voina [War] for the visual arts category. To do well, the title of the work has been slightly modified the original term, "dick" was replaced by "member".

And, of course, the appointment of Voina has not been without feedback, and for good reason: to date, two of the artists of the group are in prison in St. Petersburg. This is Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolayev, the prison inmates in No. 4 of the city since November 15 last, because of their performance, called "palace revolution", during which they had overturned several police vehicles parked in the streets of St.

Petersburg. Shortly thereafter, the Center for E [Department of the Interior Ministry in charge of the fight against extremism] had been arrested in an apartment in Moscow and transferred under guard. They are accused of "vandalism with political overtones, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious, or acts of hatred against a social group" as defined by Article 213, Section 1, paragraph b, Penal Code.

Their performance Liteiny bridge dates back to June 14, 2010. Several activists Voina had traced with white paint the outline of a male on one half of the lift bridge in St. Petersburg, just below the windows of the local headquarters of the Federal Security Service [FSB, successor to the KGB].

In the middle of the night [when the bridge opened to let boats on the Neva], the archetype was found drawn in all its splendor. He has survived a few hours before being deleted, but that did not stop to enter immediately into the legend. This event has been warmly welcomed by the arts community as the political opposition.

Leonid Nikolayev Oleg Vorotnikov and continue to receive many expressions of support from Russia and abroad. In Moscow, artists AES + F group raising money to pay their lawyers, other supporters write letters for open government. The British street artist known under the pseudonym of Banksy has also mobilized, sending the proceeds from the sale of one of his works (about 140,000 dollars) to pay the bail of the detainees.

His approach was rejected by the Russian judicial authorities. Andrei Erofeïev, curator, part of the jury's Innovation Award, this year was sentenced to a fine for having organized the exhibition "Forbidden Art". He declined to rule directly on the chances of winning the prize Voina: "You have to be oblivious to reality does not distinguish this work.

Everything will depend on the degree of freedom possessed by the jury to establish his record. The year 2010 has undoubtedly been that of Voinea, their performance was heard around the world. "According to him, even if the group is rewarded, so do not expect it to have any influence on the fate of the two artists imprisoned.

"That will not change anything for them. Certification is one thing, the political situation is another. "Since he fled abroad, Alexei Ploutser-Sarno, the ideologue of Voinea, told us his vision:" Rather than our artists free on bail, offers us power to be nominated for the award of state, what we see as a disgrace more than its share of criminal power and the conformist world of art.

"He also called on other nominees for the Innovation Award to boycott the event.

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