At the Hermitage – Shock of the new Russia

Posted filed underContemporary Art, Museums, Russia.

St Petersburg Hermitage museum‘s modern art wing officially opens in 2014 but already shows works deemed controversial in Putin’s Russia. At the same time the videos of Pussy Riot have been banned in Russia.

Miriam Elder writes in The Guardian: “It has been home to tsars and one of the finest art collections on Earth. Now with a new wing slowly opening to the public, the Hermitage in St Petersburg is inching its way into contemporary art, a controversial world in a country regularly accused of censorship.

With four exhibits going on show over the past two months, the museum’s new wing, inside a building that once housed the tsarist-era finance ministry, has moved one step closer to its official opening – 2014, when the Hermitage will celebrate its 250-year anniversary.

The renovated general staff building, which faces the Hermitage’s famed baroque facade, is to be entirely devoted to modern and contemporary art. “We want it to be done so that this art is found to be on the same level as the ‘old collection’,” said Dmitry Ozerkov, the director of the museum’s contemporary art department. “We want to create a dialogue between old and new.”

Read on at The Guardian.

Image: Visitors at the opening of Jake and Dinos Chapman’s End of Fun, which caused controversy with its use of Nazi motifs. Photograph: Shamukov Ruslan/ITAR-TASS

Free Pussy Riot!