On 16 November 2017, the Tsukanov Family Foundation and Saatchi Gallery
will open Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism, an exhibition dedicated to Post-Soviet Union protest art over the past 25 years a world premier for protest artists Pussy Riot and Pyotr Pavlensky. Alongside this exhibition, award-winning theatre group Les Enfant Terribles will present Inside Pussy Riot, a groundbreaking immersive theatre experience including performances by founding Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
Taking place 100 years after the Russian Revolution, Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism explores issues such as challenges to individual freedom of expression in the face of both political ideology and religion. While it does not have direct links to the Revolution, many of the problems that artists face in Russia today are comparable to those in 1917 such as persisting government censorship and police intervention.
The exhibition will feature work by performance artists including Oleg Kulik, Pussy Riot, Pyotr Pavlensky, Blue Noses Art Group, Arsen Savadov, AES + F, Vasily Slonov, and will display various genres and types of protest art, from posters and slogans to video art, staged photography and performances. These practices are in response to a crisis where artists face shrinking freedom yet have an even more urgent need for expression.
Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism raises crucial questions about artistic freedom, exploring what it means to be an artist in the Post-Soviet Union today. Curated by Marat Guelman it marks the fourth exhibition presented by the Tsukanov Family Foundation in partnership with Saatchi Gallery. Previous blockbuster shows of this cooperation were Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art, 1960-80s (2012-2013), Post-Pop: East Meets West (2014-2015) and Revelations (2016).
As part of Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism, Tsukanov Family Foundation have teamed up with the award-winning theatre group Les Enfant Terribles, who have collaborated with Pussy Riots Nadya Tolokonnikova to present Inside Pussy Riot, a breakthrough immersive theatre experience, co-produced by Alexandrina Markvo (Bird&Carrot) that will take place during the exhibitions run at Saatchi Gallery.
The production tells the story of Pussy Riots arrest and imprisonment following their 2012 performance inside Moscows Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Two of the groups members Maria Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to 2 years in a labour colony, rising to worldwide notoriety as a result and becoming a symbol of defiance.