Monthly Archive: November 1999

Male Artist’s Body: National Identity Vs. Identity Politics

As has been convincingly shown by the exhibition “Body and the East,” since the 1960s, in East Central Europe the art of the male body has had quite a number of adherents.(Body and the East. From the 1960s. to the Present, ed. Z. Badovinac, Ljubljana: Moderna Galerija, 1998.) There are many relevant examples: Tibor Hajas, Via Lewandovsky, Petr Tembera, and others. Most of them were interested in the problem of physical and mental fitness, that is, the limits of the confrontation between the body and external stimuli. As usual, the body was defined by these artists not … Read more

Avdei Ter-Oganian Against the New Russian Idolatry

On December 4, 1998 Avdei Ter-Oganian performed in Moscow’s Manezh exhibition hall an action he called the “Desecration of Holy Objects”. Simply speaking, he took an axe and proceeded to chop up photographs of several Russian orthodox icons. The action had grave legal consequences: the Moscow prosecutor’s office started a process against Ter-Oganian, accusing him of arousing national and religious hatred. If found guilty, the artist would spend two to four years in prison. The process against Ter-Oganian is far from over: the municipal court of the Khamovniki district met on April 20, 1999 but then adjourned without reaching a … Read more