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This paper will aim at answering how the change in Russia’s perception of Western culture and, thus, Western contemporary art has taken place. By underlining the importance of the question of HOW, for it has an inherent potential to trigger critical analysis and, thus, shape resistance to ideological influences, this paper will attempt to decipher the actual process of how perceptions towards Western art and culture happen to take their shape in modern Russian society. In order to examine this argument, this paper will juxtapose the notions of culture, ideology, and identity formation. By providing a general overview of Russo-Western relations throughout the history, I will emphasise certain trends, where political ideology at a time and the general public’s attitudes towards what is at a time considered to be the representation of Western culture correlate. To spot these trends, an emphasis will be made on the more recent events of Russian cultural history: the 90s and the current years. The Roaring Nineties were the times when the society that was constrained and whose culture was consistently shaped by the totalitarian Communist ideology has opened up to the world of new concepts, predominantly coming from the West, when the spirit of freedom has been the overarching principle of the entire nation’s culture. This liberal spirit has not lasted for long. Since Russia’s political elite has made its efforts to re-establish control and order in the country, torn by crime, poverty, economic turbulences, the cultural realm has also started undergoing dramatic changes. Todays Russia does not have much in common with a country one could have seen just less than two decades ago. After a thorough analysis of the context of “Russia and/vs. the West”, or “Us/Them” rhetoric, the current state of affairs in Russia will be depicted through the examination of four controversial Western artists’ exhibitions in Russia, signposting and reflecting the general public’s shifting cultural preferences. Thus, the main argument of the paper is that it is not an inherent historical, social, or cultural predisposition that affects the general public’s perception of contemporary Western art and culture, but, instead, an intentionally or unintentionally constructed political agenda. The question of deliberation angle is secondary, yet this paper will analyse the events themselves, and some context that surrounded the controversies they provoked. And by looking at legal, media and political frameworks the intentionality aspect will become determined. Since the paper will be dealing with the unquantifiable notion of perceptions, a semiotic approach will provide the biggest value in analysing the current state of affairs in Russia. Semiotics can reveal the meanings and the interlinks between the notions of Signs, Generation of Meaning, Ideology, National Identity, and Otherness that are the key to answering the main research question. Thus, by employing the analysis of historical context of Russia’s complex relationships with the West, by a close examination of the media coverage of sensational Western contemporary artists’ exhibitions and the particular language used to depict the events and by putting the two previous sections into the theoretical framework of semiotics, I will try to unravel the very process of the formation of perception of Western culture and art in Russia.