Anonymous Ukrainian activists have staged a take-over of the Russian pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. The protest titled ‘On Vacation,’ saw the activists, like Russia’s infamous “little green men,” referencing the soldiers that appeared before the annexation of Crimea and invasion of east Ukraine.
The protesters handed out uniforms to Biennale visitors and called on those interested to join them “On Vacation”.
Among the participants there were Ukrainian artists and cultural figures such as Maryia Kulikovska, Mykyta Shalennyi, Lubov Mikhailova as well as representatives of other states.
They reacted differently. Some said “This is all done in a Russian manner”. Others wondered if it was part of the pavilion exposition, Still others suggested calling the police. We spent nearly an hour in the pavilion, before all visitors realized what was going on and started calling the police. In general, many people wanted to take part in the campaign. We handed over hundreds of uniforms with the inscription “On Vacation”. People showed a sincere interest and were happy to join us. We will award the best photo made of the pavilion occupation with the prize a trip tooccupied Crimea.
The audience loved the protest piece many thought it was part of the Russian Pavilion itself. This year’s Russian Pavilion is a dry display of photo and video installations. Irina Nakhova’s Green Pavilion is a playon the 1996 Red Pavilion. Most participants and onlookers were international and didn’t have a clue what was going on.
The Biennale is an international project. Some protesters were involved in serious discussion with the subversive team, about occupation issues. Many others wanted to take part in the art-project so they put on uniforms and made photos.
If this is a reflection of this year’s theme, ‘All the worlds Future’ then it is doing an affective job of challenging our perceptions of society visualised through art.
Photo: Via Twitter