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ARTFORUM упомянул

May. 30th, 2009 | 11:10 pm

SIBERIAN ARTIST ARRESTED

The Siberian artist Artjom Loskutov has been arrested in Novosibirsk, the third-largest city in Russia. As the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Sonja Zekri reports, Loskutov was arrested for possession of marijuana, but some are speculating that an event the artist has been planning, Monstration, is the real reason he still remains behind bars. After Loskutov spent five days in solitary confinement, a court in Dzerzhinsky, Novosibirsk, ruled that he must stay in detention because the court alleges that he might disappear or commit more crimes. Monstration (a play on the word demonstration) is a parody parade Loskutov created in 2004 in Novosibirsk to celebrate May 1—Labor Day across Europe. But instead of waving flags, young Monstration participants brandish absurdist slogans, such as WHERE AM I? This year, Loskutov canceled the parade and warned students through his blog that police were planning “measures against extremism” at academies. But his message did not reach everyone; when some showed up to “monstrate,” Loskutov found himself getting a lecture at the anti-extremism office. Two weeks later, he was arrested for possessing eleven grams of marijuana in what friends and colleagues have described as a police check marred by irregularities.

As Zekri writes, the case—the first of its kind in the city—has left artists shocked. “We don’t know how to handle the situation,” said Konstantin Skotnikov, an artist who works at the architectural academy. Skotnikov also belongs to the artist group “Blue Noses,” whose photograph of two soldiers kissing in the snow irked officials. “One must probably assume that the public authorities feared some form of unrest,” said Skotnikov, who believes that the Monstration parade is the real reason for Loskutov’s continued detainment.

www.artforum.com

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