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Kompromat (Blackmail)

December 17, 1996

Exhibition and Sale

The participants in the project

Andrey Velikanov
Dmitry Gutov
Pyotr Komar
Alyona Martynova
Igor Mukhin
Avdey Ter-Oganyan
Yury Shabelnikov

Authors of the texts:
Dmitry Galkin
Pavel Guelman
Mikhail Globachev
Yekaterina Kolyada
Alexander Simakin
Oleg Solodukhin
Alexander Terekhov

The project's curator:
Pyotr Gladkov

The information sponsor:
The Litsa magazine

The main task of the project was to decrease (annul) influences exerted by any slanderous publications based on leaks and blackmail on the public opinion. This will help the politicians under the blackmail press to attack instead of justifying themselves (which would be hard to do, as even a fake document contains a little bit of truth).
The project included two parts (provocation and response) that were taking place at the same time. The display was the performance-related part of the project aimed at acquainting the public at large with the mechanism of making a "document" with the help of commercial technical means (computer, video and audio montage). The mass media is overwhelmed with a sea of blackmail both true to life technically and impossible, even absurd in contents. Response is the pathetic part of the project. A questionnaire was carried out among newsmakers on their attitude to blackmailing, on the role of these documents in politics. Copy is being made whose main pathetic message is an attempt to make both the society and the mass media change their approach to such materials due to the fact that the scope of technology is practically unrestricted.

Print media on project

Everything is forged!
Anatoly Stepovoy, Izvestia

Counterfeits are displayed on an unusual exhibition which opened on December 17, 1996 in Marat Guelman's gallery. Presented are 25 samples of high-quality forgeries in print, audio, photo, and video forms.

Who is to be believed now?
Izvestia, #241, December 24, 1996

Hand-made blackmail
Itogi, December 24, 1996

In M.Guelman's gallery an exhibition entitled Kompromat (Blackmail) took place to show a collective project of several politically active Moscow-based photographers and artists. Having shown to spectators te objects and installations as "top-secret documents"(e.g. "expenses estimates on organization of the good weather during the president election", or "secret Israeli passports" of the most important Russian politicians), as well scandalous video and photo shooting, the artists have underlined the urgency and public access of mass production of blackmail.

Guelman has both put things right and obscured the issue
Marina Ovsova, Moskovsky Komsomolets, December 24, 1996

Last week Marat Guelman again attracted attention of mass media. "This is dedicated to mass media" - these are words that could be used for opening the new exhibition, Kompromat (Blackmail), in his gallery. Nearly all constant artists of Guelman's gallery present on this exhibition creative forgery as if demonstrating to all of us that the up-to-date technical achievements can make any kind of blackmail in any quantity. Audio recordings, analytical notes, finance reports, all kinds of forms and signatures are made on the professional level and look true to life at first sight.

The special "Do-it-youself" kit for $1000
Anna Lebedeva, Argumenty i fakty, December 23, 1996

"The Kompromat. The way they do it" exhibition which has opened in Guelman's gallery gives a unique opportunity to observe the process of making blackmail documents and photos.

Blackmail is enough for all
Kommersant-Daily, December 24, 1996

In Marat Guelman's gallery a presentation took place of a collective artistic project, Kompromat (Blackmail), being politically urgent, as usual in this gallery. A group of artists and just so volunteers, including Dmitry Gutov, Alyona Martynova, Andrey Velikanov, Pavel Guelman, etc, have made audio and visual blackmail documents concerning various politicians.

A piece of monkey business on a fashionable topic
Dmitry Filimonov, Obshchaya Gazeta, December 12, 1996

Money as blackmail on modern art
Fyodor Romer, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 12, 1996

The idea of the Kompromat exhibition is readiness of Marat Guelman's exhibition and its artists to make on special orders blackmail documents of a high artistic value on policy-makers. Advertisement samples are displayed on the exhibition.

Art of mass kidding
Mikhail Sidlin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 19, 1996

The Marat Guelman gallery has given rise to a regular scandal with a risk to launch a legal action against a number of large Russian media.

Do-it-yourself Blackmail Exhibit
Julia Solovyova, Moscow Times, December 27, 1996

Kompromat, oder die Kunst der Verleumdung in der Guelman Gallery. Ein Brief aus Moskau

Alexander Jakimowitsch, Neue bildende Kunst Chronik, #1, 1997

1997 is a Year of Blackmail
Litsa, #1, 1997

Blitz of Marat Guelman
Ogonyok, #4, January, 1997

Marianna Zaitseva, Moskovskaya Pravda, December 19, 1996

Blackmail has turned out to be superfluous
Olesya Nosova, Komsomolskaya Pravda, December 19, 1996

Dudayev is alive and has seen Lebed
Irina Lobacheva, Kuranty, #212 (1425), December 18, 1996

Fakes on a mass scale
Maks Velikanov, Rossiyskiye Vesti, December, 1996

A Moscow stool-pigeon
Grigory Nekhoroshev, Litsa, May, 1997

Kompra (Blackmail)
Andrey Voznesensky, Komsomolskaya Pravda

Events of the week. Blackmail for public use
Molodost Sibiri, #11, March 11-13, 1997

Artistic meetings. Waiting for Godot (and in his presence)
Yekaterina Selezneva, Molodost Sibiri, #12, 1997

Blackmail as an art
Vera Tolmacheva, Moment Istiny, March, 1997

Blackmail, or the way they do it in the capital of the country
Sem Dney, #12, March 17-23, 1997

Political forgery is a means of manipulating the country
Yekaterina Katz, Daily-Sibir, March 14, 1997

Blackmail has stopped to be a document. It is more often than not a fake
Vedomosti, March 14-20, 1997

Blackmail should be killed by hands of artists
Yelena Kanunnikova, Novaya Sibir, March 14, 1997

Blackmail on top political figures
Sibirsky Kurier, March 13, 1997

Blackmail as a piece of art
Vadim Glukhov, Sovetskaya Sibir, #50, 1997

Kompromat/ Andrey Velikanov: Marilyn Monroe is back on the screen
Express-Gazeta, #8 (114), 1997

Marat Guelman: Ampilov's document was a success
Express-Gazeta, #8 (114), 1997

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