Tag Archives: Dmitry Gutov

“Without Limits”: “Anti-Putin” Installation Censored at Petersburg Contemporary Art Forum

In the contemporary cultural landscape panorama [sic], when conventional forms and aspects of art coexist with completely new art practices, the priorities get diametrically split [sic] and often impervious to each other [sic]. Meanwhile, we affirm the possibility to [sic] work out mutually acceptable and clear criteria in the evaluation of both a [sic] whole process and individual events in arts [sic].

Art & Reality Annual International Forum, “About the Forum”


Exhibition “Without Limits” Had Its Limits
November 30, 2011

“The Stars Speak,” an interactive installation by artist Vasily Klenov presented at the exhibition “Without Limits” as part of the parallel program of the first Art & Reality Annual International Forum, was censored on November 26 and removed from the exhibition hall along with its creator after Klenov refused to remove from the installation words insulting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that a visitor had typed in.

As stated on its official site, the Art & Reality Forum was organized by the Petr Konchalovsky Foundation “to discuss the burning issues in the world of fine arts, its imaginative ideas, practices, institutions, social functioning patterns, experiments, including the most radical ones.”

The forum, which took place in the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library November 25–27, was attended by Russian and foreign artists, critics, art historians, experts, gallerists, and patrons. Its theme was contemporary art criticism.

The first exhibition of the “Without Limits” project took place as part of the forum. It featured pieces by young artists and students working in a wide variety of genres and tendencies. According to organizers, the experimental convergence of different formats within a single art space would help address the forum’s major objectives — to comprehend the state of contemporary visual art and analyze the potential of modern technologies for the presentation of different kinds of creativity.

The exhibition included “The Stars Speak,” an interactive installation by Vasily Klenov, a student at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. The installation contained images of Russian stars — Maxim Galkin, Filipp Kirkorov, Andrei Makarevich, and Andrei Malakhov — alongside a display panel in the shape of comic-strip speech balloons. Visitors could type a message in these balloons using a special keyboard.

After one visitor typed in the phrase, “Putin must be castrated, just as he castrated democracy,” exhibition organizers demanded that the message defaming the prime minister be deleted. However, Vasily Klenov refused, explaining that, first, it was technically impossible, and second, that the idea of the installation had been precisely to give viewers the opportunity to freely express their thoughts.

The artist and his work were then quickly expelled from the exhibition.

Forum organizers did their best to hush up the scandal. When one of the artists participating in the exhibition, Sofia Gavrilova, tried to publicly announce what had happened, her microphone was turned off, and the live broadcast of the proceedings was preempted by a splash screen featuring the forum’s logo. Organizers explained all this as the result of technical difficulties and continued the forum.

Source: Fontanka.Ru
Art & Reality Annual International Forum Advisory Board: Alexander Zhukov, Vice Prime Minister of Russia; Alexander Avdeev, Minister of Culture of Russia; Vladimir Kozhin, Head of the Presidential Property Management Department; Andrei Konchalovsky, Chairman of Council of Petr Konchalovsky Foundation; Nikita Mikhalkov, Со-Founder of Petr Konchalovsky Foundation; Alexey Miller, Chairman of Council of ОАО Gazprom.

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on the eastern front: video art from central and eastern europe 1989-2009 (Budapest)

…on the eastern front │video art from central and eastern europe 1989–2009
January 22 – March 7, 2010

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art
Palace of Arts
Komor Marcell u. 1, Budapest

Gordana Andjelić-Galić, Apsolutno, Azorro, Yael Bartana, Pavel Braila, Egon Bunne, Chto Delat, Kaspars Goba, Gusztáv Hámos, Ana Hušman, Kai Kaljo, Šejla Kamerić, Szabolcs KissPál, Damir Nikšić, Adrian Paci, Radek Community + Dmitry Gutov, Józef Robakowski, Anri Sala, András Sólyom, Milica Tomić, Artur Żmijewski

Curators: Rita Kálmán, Tijana Stepanović

The exhibition examines the effects of the changes taking place in the region of the former Soviet Bloc on the individual and on various groups of society from the aspect of socio-psychology. It focuses on the human dimensions of the transition beginning from the end of the eighties and on, micro-processes involved.

The period since the demolition of the Berlin Wall is characterised by democratisation throughout the region. However, the rate, timing, technique and extent of this transition vary from country to country. Consequently, the challenges of transition are addressed in a multiplicity of ways by individuals, groups and by society as a whole. The exhibition uses a psychological viewpoint to examine the relations and dynamics of the various groups of society and the individuals.

Video art proved to be a perfect tool for documentation and analysis of the radical political, social and economic changes, and it began to develop and become widespread in the region during the same period of changes. The exhibition takes advantage of this coincidence, when using this medium to introduce the processes dominating the recent past of the region.

As opposed to the conventions of film production, which required complex technical apparatus, video art appearing during the 60s represented a novel alternative. With to the mass appearance of easy-to-handle, so-called portable video cameras and VHS, from the 80s increasingly wider groups of amateurs and professionals were able to record motion pictures. After photography and film, the genre of video art also offered novel possibilities of extending – and manipulating – private and historic remembrance. The methods of forming public opinion and influencing the public have changed irreversibly, and the commencement of an information society was not simply an accompanying event of the political changes taking place in the region, but the promoter of such changes.

The exhibited works addressing society with severe criticism, document, analyse and contextualise this complex region and period. But rather than offering definite answers, they probe issues that were typically avoided or swept under the carpet in the public common discourse of the countries in the region.

What is our attitude to our historical past? What are the consequences of the changes in national identity and national stereotypes? How can individual lives be carried on amidst all these rearrangements in society? What intergroup relations and conflicts have played a defining role in the last twenty years?

The artists convey numerous individual viewpoints, which provide a personal tone to the aesthetic and critical discourse concerning the political changes and the period of transition.
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