Cover Osteuropa 5/2019

In Osteuropa 5/2019

Alternatives instead of protest
A pragmatic change of direction in the new Russian art

Klavdia Smola

Deutsche Fassung


Russian performance artists such as Pussy Riot or Pavel Pavlensky have attracted international attention with sensational acts. However, from the mid-2010s onwards – not least due to its lack of effectiveness – this form of “heroic” protest was replaced by a new type of resistance against the authoritari-an regime. Groups such as “Partizaning” and “ZIP” no longer confront the state power, but instead, aim to transform society – using participatory art. For them, the goal is to reinterpret urban space and to shape it in a humane way. Many projects make aesthetic and political reference to the Soviet art of the early 1920s. At the same time, they are also related to the performances of the global do-it-yourself movement and the western minimalist art of the 1960s, as well as to the global trend towards “relational aesthetics”.

(Osteuropa 5/2019, pp. 73–89)