"There is no god. There is the Internet - The New Religion" Art Exhibition Banned by Russian Authorities Opens June 23rd in San Francisco
Installation art banned by Russian authorities opens June 23rd at 906 World Cultural Center 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. 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 to implement the idea. After four months of work, 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 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.
"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."
"The New Religion" will run from June 23 – July 21 with a grand opening reception on June 23rd 1.00 - 2.00 pm.
906 World Cultural Center - 906 Broadway, San Francisco, CA