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recorded May 2013
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Marat Alexandrovich Gelman (Russian: Марат Александрович Гельман; born December 24, 1960 in Chişinău, Moldavian SSR, Soviet Union) is an owner and director of Guelman's Contemporary Art Gallery, ex-owner of the Foundation for Effective Politics, and the former assistant director of Channel One (Russia). Gelman was at the forefront of a movement to pioneer Moscow's first contemporary galleries in the 1990s, setting up his Gelman gallery alongside the Aidan and XL galleries to cater to the rich and famous.
He was born in the capital of Moldova, then a Soviet republic. His father is a famous Soviet playwright and screenwriter Alexander Guelman, of mixed Russian-Jewish descent. His mother is Tatyana Pavlovna Kaletskaya, the descendant of Russian farmworkers. Guelman has claimed that he was studying in school #37 but abandoned it due to youth problems . In 1983 he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Communication. While he was in high school he worked at the Moscow Art Theatre during the evenings. He then avoided the military draft because this institute had a military chair.
Career in Chişinău
Between 1983 and 1985 he worked as the head of non-standard equipment at the Chişinău television factory "Alpha". In 1985 he worked as an engineer at the Chişinău Scientific Research Institute of Non-destructive Diagnostics. Between 1985 and 1990 he was the general director of a science and technical youth center (kind of commercial companies during late Soviet time) in Chişinău.
Life and work in Moscow
He began working with so-called political technologies (political public relations campaigns) in cooperation with the image-making company of Yefim Ostrovsky in 2001. During the 1995 Russian Parliament elections, he was listed as a candidate in Komsomol's block "Threshold Generation" (Поколение рубежа). Together with Gleb Pavlovsky, he created the Foundation of Efficient Politics.
In 1997, he was going to start gathering voters to sign petitions for a Moscow referendum to remove the monument of Peter the Great by Tsereteli, but then stopped this due to terrorist acts (from presumably existed Komsomol's group "Revolutionary military council of RSFSR").
In April 2002, Guelman left the "Foundation of Efficient Politics", explaining that "FEP practically became a department of media services of President Administration". Between June 2002 and February 2004, he worked as the assistant of the General Director of Channel One, head of analytics. His resignation letter explained that this job was too simple for his analytical skills. From March to October 2003, he worked in the election staff of Sergey Glazyev and Dmitry Rogozin coalition Rodina (its name was changing, first it was "Comrade" and "Comrades").[clarification needed] (Later these clients were included in his own "list of fascists and xenophobs"). He participated in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections as an adviser to Viktor Yanukovych (whose coalition Party of Regions most likely has no connections with same-name Polish and Russian parties). Between the summer of 2005 and the autumn of 2006, he was a prominent member of the newly created Social Democratic Party of Russia.
Marat Guelman is also known as a curator of many internet-projects, both art- and politics-related:
- Artist Batynkov unmasks free masons
- Irak.ru and Vojna.ru (in association with Konstantin Rykov)
- Kazakhstan art
- AES groub, "islamic project"
References and notes
- Official (in the passport) Latin-graphics spelling of his last name is Guelman as in French.
- Interview to newspaper KP
- Marat's list of xenophobs in Russia, March 2006