Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kissing Policemen Banned by Russia

Kissing Policemen (An Epoch of Clemency) by Blue Noses
Kissing Policemen (An Epoch of Clemency) by Blue Noses

The above photography has been banned together with 16 other works from appearing in a Paris exhibition on contemporary Russian art. "If this exhibition appears [in Paris] it will bring shame on Russia. In this case, all of us will bear full responsibility," the minister said. Russia's culture minister, Alexander Sokolov called the pitcture political provocation, adding: "It is take all this pornography, kissing policemen and erotic pictures to Paris."

The minister also banned another work by the same collective, Blue Noses, showing Vladimir Putin, George Bush and Osama bin Laden cavorting on a double bed in their underpants. The works were shown last May in Russia without problem.

Alexander Shaburov, one of the two artists in Blue Noses said that he had been "inspired by Banksy's iconic image of two constables kissing. We wanted to do the same but in Russia," Banksy is a London based stencil artist whose works appear on the walls of the captial. One of his most famous stencils shows a couple of British policemen in the same position as that of the Russian ones above.

The Russian artists claim that their work has nothing to do with homosexuality but rather that "The aim of our work is to take cliches and to make them as absurd as possible." However, one can not but be reminded of the everyday and rather strident homophobia shown regularly by religious and civil authorities in the country.

No Paris trip for Russia's kissing policemen, The Guardian
Gay Police Kiss Banned From Paris Show, Queerty

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