The Art of Activism II

Pavlensky II

A couple of months ago I wrote the blog The Art of Activism about the intriguing activist artworks of Petr Pavlensky. Four days ago (November 20, 2013) this Russian artist made another fascinating work. While sitting naked on the cobblestones in front of the Lenin’s Mausoleum on Moscow’s Red Square Pavlensky hammered a huge nail through his scrotum affixing it to the stone pavement. He defined his act, which he called “Fixation”, as a metaphor for the current state of Russian society in the face of the Kremlin’s policies, calling Russian society apathetic and fatalist. In his statement to the media he declared:

“A naked artist, looking at his testicles nailed to the cobblestone is a metaphor of apathy, political indifference, and fatalism of Russian society.”

This action coincided with the annual Russian Police Day. When the police arrived, they covered him with a blanket and arrested him, but they could not prevent that his artwork went all over the world. Pavlensky even reached the Dutch website geenstijl. Well done Petr!


The Art of Activism

Petr Pavlensky 2013

A couple of days ago Russian artist Petr Pavlensky made this intriguing activist artwork to protest against the legislative body (and the government) in Russia which he perceives as restrictive and repressive. He entwined barbed wire around his nude body whilst lying before the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg.

Petr 2013

One year ago Petr maybe even made a more intriguing activist artwork. He sewed his mouth together in support of punk rock group Pussy Riot. He stated:

“Sewing up my mouth, I showed the situation of the contemporary artist in Russia, living in an environment where there’s a ban on publicity, the tightening of censorship and suppression of public statements in contemporary art.”

Strong statement. Impressive art. Thanks Petr. Keep up the good work.