Saturday, July 10, 2010
Bigger Than Jesus: Art on Trial in Russia
Monday, June 12th, is judgment day for Yuri Samodurov, former director of Moscow’s Sakharov Museum, and Andrei Yerofeyev, a former curator of the Tretyakov Gallery. They face the possibility of three years of jail time for violating Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code, which prohibits dissemination of racial, national, and religious hatred. When they exhibited in 2006 the show “Forbidden Art,” which presented to the Russian public works banned from Russia’s museums for religious and/or nationalist reasons, they drew the ire of the Russian Orthodox church. The eyes of the art world turn to Russia as the latest chapter in the long battle for freedom of expression versus societal standards of decorum. Is this the “Bigger than Jesus” of the twenty-first century? Or will it be a victory for those hoping to reclaim religious imagery from the hands of fundamentalism? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Bigger Than Jesus."