Art Exhibition “The New Religion” Banned by Russian Authorities Opens June 23rd in San Francisco
Artists Natalia Lvova and Misha Priem bring to light their vision on modern society’s values and beliefs. “There is no god. There is the Internet.” is the maxim conveyed by the two creators, a sentiment that in modern-day Russia is considered to be offensive to religious people. The artists, in fact, want to express something different.
The exhibition features Stained Glass and The Temple you can walk in. For centuries, stained glass windows have been excellent biblical storytellers; many parishioners were illiterate, and liturgies were performed in obscure Latin, so the luminous pictures helped convey important messages. The “New Religion” of the present day replaces God with the Internet; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with Google, Apple, and Facebook; the scenes from the passion of Christ with images of modern consumerism.
The project was conceived in New York in January 2018, where Natalia had come for her solo exhibition at The Museum of Russian Art (MORA). Then she traveled to her hometown in Siberia, intending to translate the idea into the form. After four months of work, as the inspiration was shaped and molded and began to take on a life of its own, a representative of the town’s Department of Culture told her that she could not bring her work of art to fruition in Russia, for it was against the law. On June 30th, 2013, Vladimir Putin had signed a bill imposing fines and even jail terms for “insulting people's religious feelings,” which some have seen as a response to the “Punk Prayer” performed by the protest group Pussy Riot in a Moscow cathedral.
“Where will you look for answers to existential questions, whether as a believer in God or as an atheist? To answer the question, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ a modern person does not turn to God or the universe, but will search the all-knowing Internet,” says artist Natalia Lvova. “Is this too much? Is it insulting the feelings of believers? In Russia, yes. In California, no.”
Venue info: 906 World Cultural Center - 906 Broadway, San Francisco, CA
Grand opening reception on June 23rd at 12.00 pm - 8 pm.
On view: June 23 – July 21. Tuesdays and Fridays 12 pm - 6 pm. Other days by appointment only. Please make an appointment by email: kc (at) thenewreligion.art
More information: https://www.thenewreligion.art