Performance Art in Russia


For hundreds of years, Red Square has been a frontier zone between the sacred and the profane. The famous square appeared as a result of a fire in 1493, when a large area between Moscow’s Market and the walls of the Kremlin burnt down, and the land was left unreconstructed.

In the 1990s history took a turn, and Red Square was opened to the public again. Such a symbolic and visible public space was soon seized upon by performance artists, whose long tradition in Russia can be traced back to medieval “fools-for-Christ”, the crazy-wise Orthodox ascetics that counted St Basil among their number. The provocative, unruly and yet meaningful performances have operated, like Red Square itself, on the cusp of the sacred and the profane. (link to article)

Artist and Performance Art Groups

  • Alexander Brener
  • Blue Noses
  • CHTO Delat
  • Irina Dumitskaya
  • ETI (Expropriation of the Territory of Art)
  • Sasha Frolova
  • Masha Godovannaya
  • Natalia Goncharove
  • Glupie Lyudi (Stupid People)
  • Komar and Melamid
  • Andrey Kuzkin
  • Artyom Loskutov
  • Slava Mogutin
  • Alina Nasibullina
  • Katrin Nenasheva
  • Kulik Oleg
  • Anatoly Osmolovsky
  • Pussy Riot (and here)
  • Nadya Tolokonnikova
  • Valentin Tszin
  • Sinii Vsadnik (The Blue Horseman)
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Voina Group
Information and links

Red Square riots: performance art in the centre of Moscow

The Art of Resistance: Katrin Nenasheva makes viewers experience injustice through performance art

Action Art: Performances, Actions, Happenings

The 10 craziest Russian art performances

Why Russia produces (and quashes) so much radical art

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova Comes to the Dallas Contemporary in December

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