The new russian activism // Slava Mogutin // El nuevo activismo ruso

Slava Mogutin is a New York-based Russian-American artist and writer, exiled from Russia for his outspoken writings and activism. Mogutin’s work is informed by his bicultural literary and dissident background, encompassing the themes of displacement and identity; transgression and disfiguration of masculinity and gender crossover; urban youth subcultures and adolescent sexuality; the clash of social norms and individual desires; the tension between attachment and disaffection, hate and love.

Born Yaroslav Yurievich Mogutin (Ярослав Юрьевич Могутин) in the industrial city of Kemerovo, Siberia, he left his family and moved to Moscow at age 14. He soon began working as a journalist and editor for the first independent Russian newspapers, publishers, and radio stations, hailed as one of the foremost voices of the post-Perestroika new journalism and the only openly gay personality in the Russian media.

By the age of 21, he had gained both critical acclaim and official condemnation and became the target of two highly publicized criminal cases, carrying a potential prison sentence of up to seven years. He was charged with “open and deliberate contempt for generally accepted moral norms,” “malicious hooliganism with exceptional cynicism and extreme insolence,” “inflaming social, national, and religious division,” “propaganda of brutal violence, psychic pathology, and sexual perversions.” In 1994, Mogutin attempted to register officially the first same-sex marriage in Russia with his then-partner, American artist Robert Filippini. The attempt made headlines around the world, but only further fueled his persecution by the authorities.

Forced to leave Russia in 1995, Mogutin was granted political asylum in the U.S. with the support of Amnesty International and PEN American Center, among other prominent human rights groups. Upon his arrival in New York, he shifted his focus to visual art and started using his nickname Slava—”glory” or “fame” in Russian—as his artist name.

Mogutin’s photography and multimedia work have been exhibited internationally, including MoMA PS1 and Museum of Arts and Design in New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; The Pacific Design Center in LA; Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston; Moscow Museum of Modern Art; Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam; Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen; Estonian KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC) in Spain; The Haifa Museum of Art in Israel, and, most recently, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA).

His work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including i-DFlash ArtModern Painters, VisionaireL’Uomo VogueStern, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. He is a regular contributor to WhitewallViceFlaunt, and The Stranger.

Mogutin is the author of two hardcover monographs of photography, Lost Boys and NYC Go-Go (power House Books, 2006 and 2008), and seven books of writings published in Russian. In 2000, Mogutin was awarded the Andrei Bely Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Russia. His poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies in ten languages. He has translated into Russian selected works of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Dennis Cooper.

Mogutin has lectured extensively throughout the U.S., including Columbia University, Yale, Harvard, Harriman Institute, Grinnell College, Stevens Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, Parsons The New School for Design, and School of Visual Arts. As an actor he appeared in Bruce LaBruce’s Skin Flick (1999) and Laura Colella’s independent feature Laura ColellaStay Until Tomorrow (2004).

In 2004, together with his partner and collaborator Brian Kenny, Mogutin co-founded SUPERM, a collaborative art project responsible for site-specific gallery and museum shows in the U.S. and across Europe.

Source: ww.slavamogutin.com

Escritor, poeta, fotografo, estrella porno, artista exiliado. Slava Mogutin fue el ultimo disidente poli­tico de la antigua Union Sovietica. Su activismo por la liberacion sexual queer, expresado cruda y explicitamente en sus texto y fotos, origino que con apenas con 21 años de edad se ganara al mismo tiempo los elogios de la cri­tica y las condenas morales de los organos oficiales y conservadores de su pai­s de origen.

Acusado por el gobierno ruso de “vandalismo malicioso con un cinismo excepcional y extrema insolencia; promotor de la ultra violencia, las patologias psicoligicas y las perversiones sexuales”, Mogutin consiguio asilo poli­tico en los Estados Unidos y se establecio en la ciudad de Nueva York, donde desarrolla notablemente sus aptitudes en las artes visuales y se convirtio en un miembro activo del downtown art scene.

Lost boys es la primera monografia de su trabajo fotografico, una coleccion de tomas apaisadas o retrato, compuesta por una amplia gama de imagenes i­ntimas y muy expresivas que Mogutin recogio durante los diez años viajo por toda Europa del Este, cuando ya los cimientos del comunismo y de la cortina de hierro habi­an sido derrumbados.

Las fotografias transpiran el olor de la juventud cruda: puber, punk y lujuriosa. La sexualidad que muestra no es para los debiles de corazon. Los chicos son capturados en el acto de la satisfaccion sexual y el juego fetiche. Jovenes que se deleitan con sus actos y transmiten en el espectador un actitud de descarada libertad.

Rastas, luchadores y cadetes rusos, skinheads alemanes y hooligans son algunos de los temas que manejan estos retratos incendiarios.

Pero no solo se trata de una cruda exploracion en el morbo sexual. Mogutin nos muestra tambien los paisajes que forman los bloques sovieticos, o los rituales del juego y el ocio que entretienen a los niños en las calles, apoyados con los si­mbolos de la cultura occidental como el Western, las guitarras electricas, las latas y botellas vaci­as de cerveza, los tenis, los peluches o los uniformes de guerra.

Para el mismo, su obra se trata de un “realismo grotesco”, pues fotografia “a todos estos niños que se perdieron de un modo u otro, atrapados en el mundo de las subculturas y los fetiches “.

Es la fascinacion por examinar “el concepto mismo de verguenza, por el descaro total, por capturar a las personas en una situacion muy i­ntima de vulnerabilidad”.

Fuente/Articulo: http://complotmagazine.com/articulo.php?id=1697

 

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