Russia: Exhibition in St. Petersburg censored and closed

A Belgian and a German artist have had an exhibition of their graphic novel shuttered in St. Petersburg’s Nabokov Museum, according to The Moscow Times.

The artists, Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer, were displaying their work as part of an international comic, graphic novel and illustration festival called Boomfest, which has been held annually in St. Petersburg for seven years.

Their illustrations depict a 50-year-old woman and her fantasies of several men who lurk naked in her ‘garden of paradise’, crying and hoping for her to pick them like flowers.

When questions about nudity arose, the artists provided a range of humorous cover-ups. It wasn’t enough: The exhibition, which had been scheduled to run until 11 October 2015, was dismantled on 30 September.

It is possible that the Nabokov Museum was simply being cautious, having been attacked twice in 2013. On 10 January 2013, one of the house’s windows was smashed and a bottle, reportedly containing biblical passages, was left at the scene. A few weeks later, on 29 January, the word ‘pedophile’ was daubed on its walls.

“Extremists are really looking at what the museum does,” Pfeiffer said. The museum curators at the Nabokov Museum may have been more concerned about nudity because of the attention it garnered in the past.

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» – 1 September 2015:
Russia: Art exhibition attacked and vandalised

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