Renegade art group Voina has been nominated and shortlisted for the contemporary art State Prize Innovation for their June 2010 Work of Visual Art – the epic graffiti bombing of a major St Petersburg draw bridge with a “Giant Galactic Space Dick” that rose promptly at 2:00 am in front of the offices of Russia’s KGB incarnate Federal Security Service… and stayed in a rude salute for hours. In a impassioned statement sent to ANIMAL, fugitive Voina artist Alexei Plutser-Sarno condemns the nomination:
The Voina Group has nothing to do with the nomination to the Innovation award-2010. Our nomination was an initiative of the National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA). We consider the Innovation award as a proposal of dirty money from the Mafioso-like authorities – by giving artists a dole, they test them for conformism and loyalty to the executioners of the Russian contemporary art.
A. Plutser goes on to reject the nomination from Russia’s Ministry of Culture since Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has kept Voina artists Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaev in prison for three months without a trial for another protest action.
He assess that Voina’s nomination from the authorities for an art action against the authorities while being persecuted by the authorities is an insult, an act of cynicism meant to confuse the Russian public and “political schizophrenia or a game in ‘good’ and ‘bad’ investigators.”
In light of the Russian authorities systematic oppression of artists – from aiming to convict Voina and turn their anti-corruption protest into an anti-cop hate crime to convicting curator Andrei Yerofeyev for offending religious authorities and forcing artist Oleg Mavromatti into exile over a crucifixion scene in his film. Plutser lists “respectable” cultural figures and artists on the “Innovation 2010” prize jury and urges them all to not participate.
Meanwhile, Voina’s Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaev are testifying in court today on the illegal terms of their arrest.
Voina, Dick Captured by the KGB! 2010:
All ANIMAL Voina news.