13 July 2010, 13:06
Andrey Yerofeyev will continue organizing exhibitions despite censorship
Moscow, July 13, Interfax - One of the curators of the Banned Art 2006 exhibition, Andrey Yerofeyev, who was fined by a court a day earlier, is already planning to organize a new exposition, this time involving caricatures.
"This year I want to hold an exhibition of contemporary Russian caricatures," he told Interfax.
Today, "caricature is simply dying right under our eyes, and this is a very important genre for maintaining tone and an ironic, parodistic attitude toward oneself," he said.
Asked whether he will be more careful in choosing items for the new exhibition to avoid a repeat of the situation that occurred with the Banned Art exhibition, Yerofeyev said: "I am doing exhibitions not to hurt or impress someone. I simply note some important things in the art world. In this particular case there was a censorship problem, I noted it, and, as you see, it turned out to be really serious."
Any concessions to opponents and compromises with them only boosts their position, he said. "This legal process shows the progressive roles of these ultra-right extremists. They will grab whatever they want, like kids and dogs, so long as they can bite," Yerofeyev said.
This phenomenon, "the ultra-right reaction" to art, has established itself in society for a long time, the art critic said. "This component is now hanging like a bur not only on me, but on our entire artistic and social life," Yerofeyev said.
Had I had connections, like some gallery directors who organize exhibitions that are no less audacious, I would not have found myself on the dock, adding, "freedom is the prerogative of people with connections."
Over the next few days my lawyers, and the defense of Yury Samodurov, who co-organized the Banned Art exhibit will appeal yesterday's court ruling.
On Monday, the court issued a guilty verdict against Samodurov, former director of the Andrey Sakharov Museum and Public Center, and Yerofeyev, former head of the Tretyakov Gallery's department of contemporary trends, who organized the Banned Art 2006 exhibition, for inciting hatred and animosity on religious grounds.
The verdict calls the idea of organizing the exhibition "a criminal intent," which was fulfilled by the defendants who used their professional expertise in the field of art. Prosecutors asked for a three-year prison sentence for the defendants, but the court imposed a 200,000 ruble fine on Samodurov and a 150,000 ruble fine on Yerofeyev.