10.09 / Discussion

Performance changes the city

Red Square for the martyrs and Liteiny Bridge painted — actionists, curators, and researchers will discuss what artistic traces remain on the city map and in citizens’ minds

The modern city is sensitive to gestures and circumstances. Actionist artists, penetrating the urban environment with their actions, sometimes leave tangible traces on the city map. Petr Pavlensky connected Red Square with the idea of a martyr artist forever. Anatoly Osmolovsky and his associates, who in the nineties affixed their three-letter definition to this place of power. St. Petersburg, which will never be the same again after going through a night with the group ‘Voina’: a bridge with an erect phallus will forever remain in the city chronicle. Belgian artist Francis Alys, who lives in Mexico City and came up with an amazing performative map for that city. Peter Weibel and Valie Export, who in the sixties walked around Vienna in the costumes of a dog and his faithful hostess. All these actions will remain forever etched on the surface of the city, in some way anticipating events that the city has yet to experience. Curator Viktor Misiano, art historian Sasha Obukhov, ideologist of the ‘Voina’ and Pussy Riot groups Pyotr Verzilov, curator of the Tino Sehgal studio Louise Odger, actionist Katrin Nenasheva, and other participants will help this discussion become an important milestone in the process of realizing the city as a living body.

‘Modern man is a living monument. It is a layering of meanings, a prototype of structures and the experience of generations. The contours of settlements are written starting with a person; human consciousness, like a 3D printer, produces ready-made forms and foundations. A man nails himself to the square, a man stands on a pedestal, a man crosses the city — these actions go down in history, changing the surrounding reality with the speed of light. The relationship between a person, a gesture, and a city: that's what will interest us in this discussion. Where is the city hurrying to and into what is it being pushed by the living body of man?’ — programme curator, artist, and director of the Solyanka State Gallery Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich.

The discussion will consist of three panels:

Performance as a monument. What remains in the city after it?
— Pyotr Verzilov, artist, activist, ideologist of the ‘Voina’ and Pussy Riot groups
— Viktor Misiano, curator, art theorist
— Anatoly Osmolovsky, artist, art theorist, curator

Performance as a mirror. What it can reflect?
— Sasha Obukhova, art historian and curator of the Garage Museum archive
— Louise Hojer, curator of the Tino Sehgal studio

Performance as an element of cartography. How does it mark out the urban environment?
— Katya Krylova, curator, art historian
— Kathryn Nenasheva, artist, activist, actionist 

Cover photos: Наталия Буданцева, 2017
Russian and English with simultaneous translation into Russian
Summer programme in social media
Stay tuned
Sign up for our monthly newsletter
Strelka’s latest news, projects and events