on the 26th april 2004
the Naked Loneliness
was closed by the Barnaul
Department of Culture
The show was planned to
be ended on the 30th april, but was closed on the 26th.
The reason for closing
was that some of the local officials found the paintings to be pornographic
and with the support of some local art critics appealed to the head of
the Department of Culture of Barnaul with the request to close the Naked
The head of the Department
of Culture did not dare to call our paintings pornographic, but still ordered
to close the show in two days.
On the day of closing
the officials who innitiated premature ending of the show chose not to
come to the pavilion at all, as well as the head of the Department Of Culture,
who signed the order.
By the way, all the time
while the show was working there was a warning message attached at the
THE SHOW SPACE YOU DECLAIR THAT YOU ARE OVER
18 AND THE IMAGES OF NUDE BODIES WOULD
NOT INSULT YOU.
The next day when the press
and television was seeking for answers and comments, the head of the Department
of Culture Mr. G.Parshkov said that the show was not ordered to be closed,
and the show was ended prematurely because the pavilion needed some extra
time to prepare for the next show!!!
The main problem is that
the pavilion of contemporary art Open Sky, where the show was held, is
a room inside of the regional Youth Public Library which is governed and
financed but the Department of Culture, and according to their policy -
exposing art shows of such nature is immoral and obscene.
In general, contemporary
art in Barnaul is kept in a low key by the pro-academic art critics and
ignorant officials, who occupy Altai art life totally. Any artist who deviates
from "traditional" realistic-impressionistic school is usually discriminated
in many possible ways and not taken seriously.
Thus, Open Sky pavilion
is currently the only place in Barnaul where emerging artists (who are
not members of the Federal Art Union of Russia) can exhibit. From now on
the Department of Culture promised to sensor and "guide" the young pavilion,
(which have been working for only one year), which means that young artists
would have no place in Barnaul to exhibit any more.
There are only a couple
of private art galleries in Barnaul, and they are not interested in non-commercial
art projects, so they mostly exhibit only salable realistic land and seascapes
Somehow the Department
of Culture prefers to close the only alternative gallery in the town, instead
of creating new galleries for young artists, who are growing in number
and are really in a great need of additional art spaces.
All this demonstrates the
dreadful crisis of cultural life in Barnaul, and the situation does not
promise to change soon.