By Lena Jonson

The Pussy insurrection protest, and the next heavy passed remedy of the protestors, grabbed the headlines, yet this was once now not an remoted example of paintings being substantially serious of the regime. As this booklet, in line with large unique learn, indicates, there was progressively rising over fresh a long time an important counter-culture within the artwork international which satirises and ridicules the regime and the values it represents, even as maintaining, via paintings, substitute values. The e-book strains the improvement of paintings and protest in fresh many years, discusses how paintings of this type engages in political and social protest, and offers many illustrations as examples of paintings as protest. The publication concludes by means of discussing how vital artwork has been in facilitating new social values and in prompting political protests.

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Sample text

The Actionists expressed a duality in relation to the authorities. They focused their actions on the absurd realities of political life, on the one hand, while supporting the democratically elected president, Boris Eltsin, on the other. Their actions played on the remarkable political vacuum in which there were no proper political parties or organizations but only economic, political and criminal cliques that manipulated events from behind the scenes. The absurd cheerfulness of Oleg Kulik’s campaign as a candidate for the fictive ‘Party of the Animals’ reflected the political situation of ‘[a] dispersing reality and the impossibility of direct political statements, and the fatal lack of real political movements’ (Kovalev, 2007c: 9).

Against this background, it is easy to understand how large groups of the population became easy targets for political manipulation from above. Nevertheless, in spite of the strong state control over television broadcasting, small and comparatively outspoken private television channels appeared from time to time and, together with a few small independent newspapers and journals and the Internet, free debate continued – albeit at the margins. Dissensus, consensus and illusions 31 Liquid society Zygmunt Bauman characterizes life in modern European society as the feeling of living on quicksand – something that is repeatedly changing, shifting form and without a solid core (Bauman, 1999: 5).

As Marat Gelman said in June 2008, ‘People who previously thought of opening boutiques or fashion franchises now think of opening art foundations’ (Chernysheva, 2008: 13). Former industrial areas in the centre of Moscow were converted into modern gallery districts. 31 Art Strelka (part of the former Krasnyi Oktyabr chocolate factory) opened in 2004,32 and Art Play opened in a former silk factory at about the same time. In 2006 Proekt Fabrika was created on the grounds of the still functioning Oktyabr paper factory, and in 2007 Vinzavod (a former store for cognac and wine)33 became an important art centre when several of the most important galleries moved there.

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