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Pussy Riot Takes A Bite From The Big Apple - ArtLyst Article image

Pussy Riot Takes A Bite From The Big Apple

01-09-2012
 
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This is for all the girls (and guys) in balaclavas. Stop practicing air guitar in your bedrooms with your mates dressed in neon dresses and make your way to New York in September. You can turn off the Bikini Kill and wipe the war paint off your faces because Pussy Riot are coming. Lombard- Freid Projects based in Chelsea, along with Amnesty International will be hosting a new exhibition of the groups work to support the release of the three members who have recently been imprisoned for two years in Moscow in the name of “hooliganism”. Pack your copy of the Feminine Mystique, your Frida Kahlo shrine, leave the razor at home, you might not need it, but then again, that’s your choice.

One of the founding members of Pussy Riot was also part of the absurdist, anarchist, protest art collective known as Voina which was founded in 2006. Although the members of Pussy Riot claimed to be influenced by the work created through Viona, they are a separate organization wanting to be known for their political change through peaceful action. There website states that they are an “anonymous Russian feminist performance art group” that was established in October 2011. While the group does perform as a band, a misguided term in this case, they are directly linked to the arts. In September they will show the world another side of the group, holding a show at Lombard-Freid Projects in New York.

Lombard-Freid Project and Amnesty International who are hosting and supporting the exhibition that will be taking place in New York on 10 of September confirm that this show is not about protest anymore. For Lombard-Freid Projects this is a great opportunity to provide the world with a much needed insight into the artistic work that the group creates. This will hopefully lessen the

focus on the band and draw attention to the work that is being created as a whole. Although Lombard-Freid Projects’ website has no details available at the moment, the exhibition will be ‘pop- up’ in nature, and will feature five videos of members that will be laid over heavy guitar riffs. Combining the bands work with the rest of the collective projects will be a difficult task considering. The collective has been around since 2011 and they have only gained global prominence through there most recent performance in Moscow which has had massive consequences. Having a major gallery show will highlight more than just the work that has been so heavily in the press of late along with the subsequent trial. It will draw attention to what the group is hoping to achieve in it’s entirety.

Pussy Riot is unlike other collectives. One group that comes to mind in relation to the work that Pussy Riot creates, are the Guerilla Girls, who were active in the mid 1980s, and have gained cult following and admiration from girl groups to the present day. Even Pussy Riot has admitted to following a similar objective. Contributor to Forbes, Jonathan Keats was correct to suggest a difference between the two groups that is a potent change and one that could potentially lead to Pussy Riot’s success where other groups had failed. He recognized that while the Guerilla Girls sought to make their art known to the public, Pussy Riot has publicly stated and indicated that their creations are political first and artistic second. The upcoming show at Lombard-Freid, appears to be skirting that issue by exhibiting this new video footage in their gallery, but the success of this tactic is yet to be seen.

Pussy Riot stands for political change through their art. Although they are drawing on inspiration from other groups that have come before them, they strongly uphold this belief and are willing to see it through. Although limited information is available with regards to the exhibition at Lombard- Freid Projects, expect to see a piece of Russian angst storm the big apple on the 10 of September. The exhibition will hopefully encourage gallery visitors to examine the underlying issues that Pussy Riot are bringing to light. With Amnesty International supporting the project, hopes are that legal transformation will aid the three members who have been sentenced to prison.

Words by: Portia Pettersen © Artlyst 2012 Image ©: Pussy Riot Website

The ICA in London will be hosting an 'ICA Quickfire': Holy Mary! A discussion about the Pussy Riot case 4 September 2012
Broadcaster and lawyer Mark Stephens will be in conversation with Kirsty Hughes and Nadim Samman to review the recent Pussy Riot case and its impact on contemporary culture.
More Information | See all in Talks



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