|From left: Leonid Nikolaev, Oleg Vorotinikov and Natalia Sokol|
|The Arrest, art from the Free Voina website|
Voina on 14 October announces all charges dropped against Vorotnikov and Nikolaev for criminal hooliganism over "Palace Revolution," cop car tipping action. See, Free Voina website.
At first blush, the Voina war of words looks like a bunch of anarchist art pranksters who hate Putin´s Russia—and for valid reasons—but now act out a nasty family feud, not uncommon in the history of anarchism.
As we know, curators are the gatekeepers and can make or break an artist or group.
|"Dick Captured by the KGB" won Voina Group the 2011 Russian contemporary asrt Innovation award|
|Vladimir Putin as L. Brezhnev (c) Moscow Times 30 Sept. 2011|
|"Notes from the Russian Underground" Photograph by Stefan van Draske (2011)|
The mercurial Canadian Peter Verzilov
|"Wash Your Dirty Money With My Art" by Janos Sugar at the Ludwig Museum, Budapest Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)|
This developing story isn´t about anarchists failing to legally protect the “Voina Group” brand. (To invoke legal infrastructure is anarchistic blasphemy.)
I know. I worked for one of them as a reporter for three years (2000 - 2003) in south Florida.
The Business Journals chain of 41 print and online newspapers is owned by a couple of brothers living in New York. The pair also own a number of upscale magazines.
|One in a series of Ai Weiwei´s photographs aimed at citadels and symbols of authority and control|
Hungarian curators and artists were livid that an unknown Budapest gallery owner would curate the show that included many artists in his gallery´s stable and showed nothing provocative.
All held hands and spoke prayers of thanks to the man they universally credit as smashing down the Iron Curtain with a single bellowing blow of rhetoric:
|Istvan Mate´s statue of Ronald Regan Photo by Stefan van Drake (2011)|
|"Walkling with Reagan" Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)|
It was more than political stagecraft. It forms part of a pattern.
|Islamic art and design at Granada´s Alhambra, photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)|