In a candid interview with the Germany’s Deutsche Welle last week, the Russian art historian Ekaterina Degot stated that freedom in Russia’s cultural sector is quickly diminishing.
This week, architectural drama, Voina arrests, Gerhard Richter at the Tate Modern, image search tools that will change your life, plagiarism and cartoonists and a chromatic typewriter.
Things are looking up for artists of the radical Russian art collective Voina, who had been languishing in jail for months. They were just released on bail but the duo still face a future court date & they may have inspired other inmates to pursue a life in art.
Animal NY reported that the Russian art collective Voina has been shortlisted for the Russian state prize for contemporary art for the memorable phallus they painted on a drawbridge opposite KBG headquarters in St Petersburg. But the group doesn’t want the prize.
We reported on the case of the Russian art collective Voina last week but today Marina Galperina of Animal NY has an update and interview with Voina’s Alexei Plutser-Sarno and it doesn’t look good. “They wiretap our phones, write down every … word. For me they have already prepared a criminal article, reading ‘organizing and leading a criminal community’ — namely, the Voina art group … gallery art has died. Today you can [only] do … innovative art in the street only or in prison, on the edge between Life and Death, between Reality and Imaginary. Art calls for sacrifice,” Plutser-Sarno says.
The radical performance art collective, Voina, has been challenging the Russian authorities for years but on November 15 two of their artists, co-founder Oleg Vortonikov and Leonid Nikolayev, were arrested for a performance this past summer that involved the overturning of a cop car as part of an anti-corruption protest.
Even with this major set back, Voina continues to fight and they resist the efforts of the authorities to squash their artistic protests. The group has fans all around the world and even stealthy street artist Banksy is a fan and has thrown his support behind the group and pledged £80,000 in an effort to help. To find out more about the situation I conducted the following email interview with Natalie Sokol, a third member who was also detained but later released, about the arrests.