What does it mean to be an artist in Russia today? On the 16th of November Saatchi Gallery and the Tsukanov Family Foundation will answer to this question presenting an exhibition, curated by Marat Guelman, dedicated to Post-Soviet Union art: Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism, featuring the work of prominent Russian and Ukrainian protest artists. This will be the first time that these artists will have an exhibition dedicated to their works.
The exhibition takes place exactly 100 years after the Russian Revolution, hence the artists decided to dig deeper and explore issues that still vex todays Russia, such the impossibility to have freedom, individually and expression-wise, both oppressed by political ideology and religion. There will not be an historical representation of it, but the Revolution will be there as a subtext, as a comparison, as a bitter remark. Responding to this crisis, to this limitation of freedom the exhibition will feature numerous works of varied genres/types of art, from performance, to videos and photography.
Everybody for sure remember the extremely “visual” performance of Pyotr Pavlensky: Fixation had the artist nailing his scrotum to Red Square to denounce state power, or Stitch performed in front of Kazan Cathedral (St. Petersburg) had the man sewing his mouth to protest against the incarceration of Pussy Riot, whose members gained notoriety when they staged inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012.
This performance lead to the arrest of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, whom will perform at the opening of the exhbition.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Les Enfants Terribles (an innovative theatre company working with children literature in a creative way) will present Inside Pussy Riot, an immersive theatre experience, willing to revive Pussy Riot’s cathedral protest and imprisonment.
Another artist who will partecipate will be Oleg Kulik: his performances are characterised by his metamorphosis into an “animal-state”, hence the language barrier is erased thanks to the return to a feral and emotional vocabulary.
Previous shows result of the collaboration of Tsukanov Family Foundation and Saatchi Gallery:
Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art, 1960-80s (2012-2013);
Post-Pop: East Meets West (2014-2015);
For more informations: here.