Take for example, Pyotr Pavlensky, the famed public protest artist who takes a no-half measures approach to his own, very particular, form of actionsim. Among a few of Pavlensky’s exploits; sewing his mouth shut in protest against the incarceration of punk group ‘Pussy Riot’ (also featured in the show), sitting naked on Red Square, and, to quote Wikipedia, “hammering a large nail through his scrotum affixing it to the stone pavement,” and cutting part of his own ear off whilst sat naked on the roof of the infamous Serbsky Centre in protest of the governments abuse of psychiatric detention in Russia. As I said, no half measures. Also featured are the brilliantly subversive films of Pussy Riot, whose public performances and anti-Putin, pro feminist rhetoric attracted world wide media attention, and Oleg Kulik, the Ukrainian-born artist who takes on the roles of animals to protest what he sees as a crisis in contemporary culture.
And, since performance is such a central theme to the work exhibited, the award-winning theatre group Les Enfant Terribles, in collaboration with Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, will present an immersive theatre experience that will take place during the exhibition’s run at Saatchi Gallery.
Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism is on at the Saatchi Gallery from 16th November to 31st December 2017
Inside Pussy Riot is on from 14th November to 24th December with tickets available for £21.50
Images, from top:
Oleg Kulik, Horses of Bretagne, 1988
Pussy Riot, Punk Prayer, 2012