photography news straight from the motherland!
On September 28, a man described as an “artist” and identified as Anton Belikov was shown by Ren TV defacing the photographs — which were taken by Vasyukovich and fellow journalist Sergei Loiko while covering the conflict in eastern Ukraine that pits Russia-backed separatists against Ukrainian national forces — reportedly because they showed “Ukrainian Nazis.” He called Vasyukovich a “shamefaced fascist.”
The next day, more than a dozen activists in military and Cossack uniforms raided the Sakharov Center that was hosting the exhibition, carrying red liquid that they said symbolized the “blood of Donbas’s children killed by the Ukrainian Army,” further alleging to accompanying TV crews that the organizers were supporting “fascist” killers by displaying photographs.
This make two photographic exhibitions being interrupted in Russia during the course of a week… with multiple incidents happening at both exhibitions.
Frankly, it’s unsurprising that somebody would destroy Vasyukovich’s and Sergei Loiko’s work considering the apparent aggressive climate in Russia towards anybody speaking out… especially concerning Ukraine and Crimea. I think we should probably just be thankful that their photographs were destroyed instead of them being shot.
I imagine this sort of general aggressive attitude towards anybody not ‘toeing the party line‘ must scare the crap out of photographers, writers, and artists in general in Russia.
It would be interesting if we could quantify how artists are reacting to Darth Putin… like seeing whether the total numbers of works produced a year has declined or whether or not the subject matter has changed… but something like that really wouldn’t be an easy task in the United States let alone Russia.
Sooo… we’ll have to settle for stories to judge how the art world is going in Russia…