23 February 2011

The artists who crossed the line

In Moscow last November Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolayev were arrested, handcuffed with plastic bags pulled over their heads and thrown in a police van.

The two men are part of Voina, a radical art collective that has infuriated the Russian authorities with a series of increasingly audacious stunts, and whose jailing has caused concern in Russia about a return to a Soviet-style censorship of the arts.

The group first came to prominence in February 2008, two days before the carefully choreographed elections that brought President Dmitry Medvedev to power. About 12 activists, one of whom was a pregnant woman, entered the Biology Museum and staged an orgy.

Meanwhile, the group's leader and chief ideologist, the bearded Alexei Plutser-Sarno, donned a top hat and unfurled a banner that said: "Fuck for the Teddy Bear Heir!" The slogan played on Mr Medvedev's surname, which is derived from the Russian word for "bear", and poked fun at what the group said were "farcical and pornographic elections" in which Mr Medvedev was to inherit Vladimir Putin's "throne". The group was charged with "disseminating pornography" and so began a life underground, where the core group of activists eschewed mobile phones and moved apartments frequently to evade the authorities.

(story by: Shaun Walker - The Independent - 23 Feb 2011)

The Biological Museum 29 Feb 2008

Inside the museum

Voina, the group

In the Hall of the State museum

Oleg and his wife having sex while he is shouting: "Bears will soon all die!" We must support the Bears! We will give them the energy of our bodies! Bear - a totem animal of ancient Slavs! "We must copulate in support of the teddy bear!"

And they too started to have sexwhile talking about the bear who was an urgent need to save, protect and support.

In the hall of the museum appeared two other young couple: luxurious blonde with a magnificent bust and a mighty warrior of the Slavic form. Shouting some slogans on environmental and animal protection from the onslaught of the machinations of evil forces, they too began to fervent sex.

Two other participants joined in the orgy as another loving couple. In appearance they were quite decent people, but obsessed with the protection of the bear

The banner that says: "Fuck for the Teddy Bear Heir!" The slogan played on Mr Medvedev's surname

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