Marina Galperina of Russia! magazine writes:
When famed Russian curator Andrei Erofeev invited Viona to take part in his "Lettrism" exhibition, he was already familiar with their antics and political provocations. Erofeyev granted the group's request for a whole room and complete freedom.Art show fracas in Russia (Photos NSFW)
Erofeev, however, was not expecting a 115 square-foot banner photograph of group sex with the slogan "Fuck for Your Heir the Bear Cub!" (the bear cub - medvejonok - being Medvedev, naturally.)
This and other photographic and video transcripts of their x-rated February 2008 action at the Timiriazev Biological Museum comprised just a portion of Voina's incendiary exhibition. When the director of the Central Art House, Bichkov, arrived at the scene, he became hilariously infuriated (his last name does, after all, mean "little bull"). He raged ferociously at curator Erofeyev to dismantle Voina's display.
A series of compromises were attempted, like the paraphrasing of signage "I Fuck the Bear Cub" (for some reason "cock" is less offensive than "fuck" in Russian). Bichkov still called the cops, urging for Voina's arrest and permanent blacklisting. At first, Erofeev discouraged the cops by pretending to angrily scold the art group, but several Bichkov's threats later, a second, heavier-armed police wave arrived and the destruction of Voina's entire exhibit began.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.