The Ministry of Culture for the Perm region has appointed an acting director for the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (PERMM) less than a week after prominent curator Marat Guelman was dismissed from the post. The ministry has hired Elena Oleinikova, currently head of the Green Art Gallery in Perm, to take over from Guelman until a permanent replacement has been found.
Last week, Igor Gladnev, minister of culture for the Perm region, fired Guelman following an investigation into spending for the White Nights festival of arts and music as well as the closure of four exhibitions. One show, Welcome Sochi 2014, poked fun at the upcoming Winter Olympics with a poster of Stalin wearing one of the mascot’s costumes. Another depicted the Olympic rings as hanging nooses. Following his dismissal, Guelman took to Twitter to vent his frustration: “The minister of culture who shuts down exhibitions has clearly confused his role with the FSB.”
Guelman, who was appointed director of PERMM in 2008, has been widely credited with spearheading a cultural revolution in the industrial city of Perm. The driving force behind the transformation was Oleg Chirkunov, the former governor of the Perm region, who was replaced by Viktor Basargin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin last year. Chirkunov’s failure to join Putin’s United Russia party meant his position as governor was precarious throughout his tenure.