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A in the megaphone on the poster by Aleksandr Rodchenko and to the red triangle by El Lisitskiy. The other flag, created by the artists of Eli Kuka group (7) for one of the numerous actions of Pussy Riot, instead of the usual propaganda iconography with shouting people, depicts a lovely scene (as if it were copied from a children’s book) of mushrooms on the forest edge. The reference here to Pussy Riot’s infantile aesthetics was understood by a larger number of people than those within the usual protest environment and  encoded as “mushroom spawn”. The subject of the protesters” children-like sincerity was introduced in the work by Artem Loskutov and Maria Kiseleva “The Pussy Riot Icon” (8) where a saint matron with an easily recognisable coloured balaclava, is nursing in “her soul”, a little girl. At the same time, what is common for art activism, the artist also outlines the historic and artistic association. He uses the ancient canon of the Mother of God icon – “Oranta”, which is traditionally called a “predictive sign” in Russia, that is to say it is the appealing icon. Loskutov places the Old Slavic language slogan “Freedom to Pussy Riot” on the saint’s head. The picture was mounted on outdoor advertising light-boxes in Novosibirsk. Because of it’s iconographic travesty, it was not quickly identified and removed by the police. The attitude to Pussy Riot has divided Russian art society. Many reputable contemporary artists (not to mention the semi officials), many critics and curators did not accept Pussy Riot’s performance in the Cathedral of Christ

The Savior. It was condemned ethically and even more aesthetically. This was not because of their political statement but rather because of professional conformism. It has only been 20 years since Russian art obtained a system of art museums, galleries and markets. It came out from the underground. For many people, this ideal still shines brilliantly. Yet, it is clear that the art system strongly rejects artworks not adapted for the white walls, the institutions reject art done without perfect craftsmanship, collective work indifferent to authorship and artists who generously shares the work with others. The anti-system creative work of art activists abolished the concept of “the original”, the sacred rule of the artist’s signature. The institutional art world could not accept this. The split was made under the sign of Pussy Riot. The art activists” work is stitched closely together with the work of Pussy Riot. This is evident in the comics by Alexey Iorsh, “Art activism” (10). A story of a movement told in the name of an eyewitness and a participant of the events, illustrated with posters and leaflets supporting Pussy Riot.  Iorsh’s stories of specific exhibitions of art activists, organised by him more than once, are interesting. The split with art society has pushed them into reviving the Soviet tradition of non conformism exhibitions. Again, as seen in the 1970s, a wide typological range of uncensored exhibitions is used: private flat exhibitions, open air and underground passage exhibitions, one-day exhibitions in abandoned or low profile premises. At such vernissages, people do not drink champagne

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Katalog 6-22 CMYK.indd 62

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Katalog PUSSY RIOT AND THE COSSACKS & EFTER BODENSKOLAN 2014  

Pussy Riot and The Cossacks — Russian Tradition of Art Resistance Sommarens utställning på Havremagasinet i Boden visar rysk protestkonst...

Katalog PUSSY RIOT AND THE COSSACKS & EFTER BODENSKOLAN 2014  

Pussy Riot and The Cossacks — Russian Tradition of Art Resistance Sommarens utställning på Havremagasinet i Boden visar rysk protestkonst...

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