Performance Artist – Petr Pevlensky

Petr Pevlensky

Russian Artist – Performance Art, Live Art

Pyotr (alt. Petr) Pavlensky born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1984, is a Russian performance artist, political activist, publisher and actor. He studied monumental art at the Art and Industry Academy and at the Pro Arte Foundation for Culture and Arts in St. Petersburg. His actions or performances are inspired in part by Pussy Riot, and follow in the tradition of artists such as Chris Burden, the Viennese Actionists, and Moscow Actionists Oleg Kulik and Alexander Brener. Pavlensky and his girlfriend Oksana Shalygina founded an independent online newspaper Political Propaganda in 2012, which was dedicated to contemporary art in political contexts, “overcoming cultural chauvinism, implemented by the government”, feminism and gender equality. He became known for sewing his mouth shut in political protest against the incarceration of members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot at the Kazan Cathedral, St. Petersburg, on July 23, 2012. One year later Pavlensky held a political protest against repressive government policies called Carcass. His assistants brought him naked, wrapped in a multi-layered cocoon of barbed wire, to the main entrance of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. On November 9, 2015 at 1:15 a.m. he doused the entrance of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) at the Lubyanka Building, with gasoline, and set fire to it with a cigarette lighter. Pyotr/Petr Pavlensky has performed a large number of other political performances and demonstrations over the years. In 2017 Pavlensky and Oksana Shalygina obtained political asylum in France, where he has been arrested twice for political and cultural actions.

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