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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Welcome To Sochi, Comrade!

Published 1 July 2013

As Russia prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian artist Vasily Slonov has put a satirical spin on the country's PR campaign for the games. In a series of posters, Slonov combines winter sports scenes with images portraying a frightening, repressive Russia. Displayed during the White Nights cultural festival in the city of Perm, the posters provoked a swift backlash: Authorities closed the exhibit and sacked the curator of the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art, well-known gallerist Marat Gelman, for backing the exhibit. The reason for the crackdown was said to be Slonov's unauthorized use of the Sochi 2014 symbols. (7 PHOTOS)


A computer screen shows images of Vasily Slonov's satirical posters, one of which depicts a fanged Josef Stalin disguised as a friendly bear.


Other posters show terrifying interpretations of Russian cultural icons: a matryoshka doll and the Soviet-era animated character Cheburashka.


Vasily Slonov laughs over reproductions of his oil paintings from the series "Welcome! Sochi 2014."


Signs point visitors to the GULAG, the Chornobyl nuclear plant, Siberia, and Lubyanka, the seat of the Federal Security Service (FSB).


An aircraft-shaped matryoshka doll flies over Slonov's imagined Russia.