• View of “Absolute Beauty–Neoacademism in Saint Petersburg,” 2015. Photo: József Rosta.

    “Absolute Beauty”

    Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art | Budapest

    Shot in the Neoclassical splendor of Saint Petersburg, Russia’s Mikhailovsky Palace, Igor Bezrukov’s eight-minute-long film The Red Square, or the Golden Ratio, 1999, follows a would-be painter (played by gender-bending artist Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe) who, after carefully studying the Venus de Milo, paints a red square. Enraged, his teacher (artist Timur Novikov in a top hat and monocle, though he had recently gone blind) bends his pupil over and proceeds to spank the avant-garde out of him. The parable concludes with the student producing a perfect Aphrodite as the master looks on, beaming.

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