Kissing Policemen bring shame to Russia

A picture of two Russian policemen kissing in a snow-covered Siberian forest – an homage to Banksy’s kissing policemen graffiti – has been banned from appearing in an exhibition of Russian art in Paris.

And all because Russia’s prudish Culture Minister Alexander Sokolov thought that the picture – which according to artists the Blue Noses Collective was inspired by British atist Banksy’s graffiti image of two constables kissing – would bring shame on his country.

A clearly agitated Sokolov told the world’s assembled press:

“If this exhibition appears… it will bring shame on Russia. In this case, all of us will bear full responsibility. It is inadmissible…to take all this pornography, kissing policemen and erotic pictures to Paris.”

Here’s the picture – which, by the way is by the Blue Noses Collective and is called “Kissing Policemen (an Epoch of Clemency)” – take a look and judge for yourselves. Does this image shame Russia?

Russian kissing policemen

Probably no more than Banksy’s graffiti art of two kissing constables embarrasses Britain:

Banksy kissing policemen

If I were Sokolov, I’d buy the kissing policemen photo as quick as I can – if the Blue Noses Collective’s work becomes anything like as popular as Banksy’s art, it’ll be worth an absolute fortune soon. Just ask Angelina Jolie. who has just bought a Banksy painting for a cool $2 million.

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11 Responses

  1. Aleks says:

    I remember a story a while back on Mosnews where a bunch of old grannies were protesting outside a ‘well known’ gay club in Moscow. The photo that went with the story showed the club fronted and protected by… the police…

    Still, the culture minister has done a brilliant piece of publicity for teh BNC! I wonder if he’s getting a cut?

  2. Andy says:

    the culture minister has done a brilliant piece of publicity for teh BNC! I wonder if he’s getting a cut?

    Good point – I never thought of it that way! So maybe the culture minister is actually more savvy than I thought. After all, in the long term, controversy is what makes money…

  3. Kirill Gotev says:

    kissing policemen isn’t the only work prohibited by russian ministry of culture. among 17 other, that didn’t go to exhibition in paris, there is this one by art-group called PG. you can see it here and decide by yourself — should such things be banned or not:

    http://kinst.livejournal.com/19581.html

    it is huge print (2 x 3 meters) with video installed in the center of it.

  4. Andy & Co:

    As all can see, those pictures don’t just involve kissing.

    As for kissing, there was a time when the most heterosexual of Russian men would kiss each other without any inhibitions of it being mistaken. This especially relates to when they haven’t seen each other for quite some time.

    Sometimes, it seems as if we’re living in some contradictory times. American public schools and colleges have official gay orgs. Simultaneously, it’s more fashionable for men’s locker rooms to be revamped with individually enclosed showers as opposed to one that’s fully open. This latter mentioned instance seems to contradict the former. On the other hand, maybe it acknowledges that some in the locker room might’ve potentially conflicting feelings with someone else in the same environment; thus acknowledging what has otherwise been hushed.

    All this led to a locker room conversation involving a 40 something heterosexual married friend of mine and a young heterosexual undergrad. student (the two know each other). The latter commented how older gym members were more prone to showering at public gym showers, whereas the younger crowd had more a discomforting sense when doing so; and would instead shower at home. This despite the likelihood that the 40 plus group is probably the more stuck up when it comes to issues concerning perceived gay behavior.

  5. Aleks says:

    Who knows. Suprisingly, and in particular for a ‘culture’ minister, he seems to have forgotten his PR training, or more likely, lost his temper… There are other, more diplomatic ways, to sweep things under the carpet.

    Still, the BNC should beware of cleaning ladies and the local council, considering what has happened to a Banksy mural and the odd piece contemporary art.

    Kyrill, thanks for putting up the link. I was to say the least, a bit surprised!

  6. Aleks says:

    Apparently the full exhibition was on show at the Treytyakov gallery earlier in the year: http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2189440,00.html

    The best line in the above article is without doubt ‘Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin is not exactly known for his sense of humour…’. Luke Harding, Moscow Bureau Chief correspondent and plagarist (www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8637&IBLOCK_ID=35)

    The BBC isn’t much better. There was a good 10 minutes on the US/Russia missile defense bust up yesterday. First on was Frank Gaffney ‘Russia is authoritarian and wants to rebuild the Soviet Union’. Then they had some russian senior associate from a think tank that said it was all about russian politics (elections, la la la). Only towards the end with former conservative defense minister Rifkind & someone else who pointed out that both the US and Russia were deliberately hamming it up. Poor, very poor journalism.

    Still, the military strategic argument that missile defense was not a threat to Russia was not questioned. I thought that was the whole point. Funny that!

    Unfortunately, ‘red lines’ are only for western democratic countries.

  7. Vintage Frank Gaffney.

    I just got hold of Mark MacKinnon’s book The New Cold War.

    I’m not so into the title which arguably conflicts with MacKinnon, who comes across (at least so far in my reading of his book and from what I previously know of him) as a a moderate extremist (especially when compared to Gaffney)

  8. An affect of a global climate change: winters were chilly in Siberia, perhaps, were they?

  9. Michael says:

    Alexander Sokolov is more then correct, and the observation that similar attacks upon the identity of police officers in other nations have taken place do not change this. Mr. Sokolov has the intelligence and character to object to what is not the party line of the abombatable bastards. My ample power of arms supports him and his people in this matter.

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