Breaking News of Art Activism in Russia {Contains Graphic Images}

In an extreme performative piece undertaken in recent hours, a well known and outspoken Russian artist appears to have entwined barbed wire around his nude body whilst lying before the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg. Pyotr Pavlensky (also known as Petr Pavlensky), according to local media, is protesting against the Legislative body which he perceives as hyper restrictive.

Artist Pyotr Pavlensky lies on the ground, wrapped in barbed wire roll




The artist gained an international audience last summer in an equally provocative piece when he sewed his own mouth shut. The move was in protest against restrictions of freedom of speech following the arrest of members of Pussy Riot.

Pavlensky’s precise motivations for this latest act are not quite known internationally. As this weekend is Holy Week in the Russian Orthodox Calendar, last night saw enactments of the crucifixion for Good Friday throughout the country. It is possible that the artist is drawing on such connotations of persecution and the crown of thorns in his use of barbed wire.

Information about the event (including the artist’s precise motivations) is steadily being revealed, and will be shared on Fawn Review as soon as they are known. If you have the Russian language skills to access local newspaper reports from Saint Petersburg, please get in touch. You can get in touch via Twitter (@SiobhanFenton) or via the Facebook page 

The relationship between art and activism has received a huge amount of interest in recent time. The events of today seem like one of the most extreme instances of it yet.