Russian Curators Convicted, Not Gulag-ed for Mickey Jesus

07.12.10 Marina Galperina

MickeyA suicide bomber Marylin, a Mary icon made of caviar, crucified Lenin and a proselytizing Mickey Mouse: these works from a 2006 exhibit “Forbidden Art” almost landed Moscow curators Yury Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev in a prison colony for 3 years.

Instead, the curators were fined $11,000.

The case was brought up by a representative of Council of the People, offended by the “Anti-Christian” images in the exhibit:

If you like expressing yourself freely, do it at home, invite some close friends.” he said. But when it’s on public display “especially if it contains insults, it’s no longer art but a provocation.”

The curators weren’t convicted for offending the Christian church, but for “inciting religious hatred,” thought they’ve said they meant to do neither. While this censorship is a symptom of a strange Czarist-Soviet censorship hybrid brewing in Russia, it’s been said to have political motivations as well — a display of power.

As for the sentence, IZO described it best: “Everyone knows nowadays that you have to whack your enemies somehow without creating martyrs.”

The curators will be appealing the sentence.