Archive: Art in Russia
This city has never appeared on any official maps – Nadav Kander

This city has never appeared on any official maps – Nadav Kander

Nadav Kander - The Polygon Nuclear Test Site I (after the event), Kazakhstan, 2011
Nadav KanderThe Polygon Nuclear Test Site I (after the event), Kazakhstan, 2011

Introduction

If it were possible to take a picture of the entire earth’s surface, the mosaic of human co-existence would be a sight to behold. Some areas are military grounds, mining cities or tourist destinations while others are education hubs just to mention a few. It is hard to appreciate that in the midst of all that are secrets as deep as the mystery of death. In the Dust series, as created by Nadav Kander’s, images of crows illuminated against the light of the moon in the darkness symbolizes how difficult it is to hide the truth. These images appear in the first three spreads, perhaps to prepare one’s mind to the secrets about to be uncovered.

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Russian activists/artists group Voina paints gigantic penis

Russian activists/artists group Voina paints gigantic penis

Voina - Giant Galactic Space DicK, 2010

Voina - Giant Galactic Space DicK, 2010

VoinaGiant Galactic Space Dick, 2010, 55 liter of white emulsion paint, 65x27m, Liteiny Bridge, St. Petersburg, Russia

Who is Voina?

A group of Moscow art members also known as the “Members of War” or more popularly as Voina have racked up quite the reputation for themselves as art rebels. The group is famous for faking gay beatings at local malls or portraying Russia’s federal museum director in an orgy. On the morning of famed revolutionary Che Guevara’s birthday in 2010 the group created a 65m (213ft) tall drawing of a gigantic penis on the Foundry Bridge. The drawing did not take long to complete (23 seconds), however, it did deliver in terms of the message that Voina wanted to pass across.

Why did they paint this gigantic penis?

In short, the drawing of the penis was created as a giant “fuck you” to all the Russian authorities that have operated through years with corruption, impunity, and oppression. According to members of the group, the large drawing would rise and fall every time it was raised to allow passing ships beneath through. It was framed on the Foundry Bridge because the bridge represented the striking architecture of the former capital city of the Russian Empire.

When the Foundry Bridge rose as it does every morning, the galactic penis that was created by the group faced the Federal Security Service (FSB) windows directly. The renegade art group created the image to send a simple message; that Russian government officials were corrupt and that the public was aware and willing to do something about it.

Aftermath

Needless to say, the leader of the group was arrested, but not before thousands of bridge users, city residents and FSB agents from across the city had received the message. Some of them took the opportunity to take photos of this political statement and it made rounds in some of the most popular social media platforms.

According to Voina, another group of activists was supposed to spell out the FSB acronym to clarify who the recipients of the message were, however, the activists did not make it to the daring graffiti installation. The security guards at the bridge were perceptibly annoyed by the installation; however, the local police seemed to find humor in the galactic penis.

Voina, although unconventional in the techniques, managed to snag a nomination from a prestigious government-sponsored art award. Up to this day, the giant galactic space penis, now dubbed “the penis in FSB captivity”, has managed to inspire thousands of Russians in different ways.

Location of Liteynyy bridge (Литейный мост)


Liteynyy bridge, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 194044 (Литейный мост, Санкт-Петербург, 194044)

Video: Russia Today

Video: Making of


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After Soviet & US invasions: Creation of beautiful war rugs

After Soviet & US invasions: Creation of beautiful war rugs

Afghan War Rugs, AFP-JIJI
War Rug in Afghanistan
Photo: AFP-JIJI

The War Rugs of Afghanistan

Every time there is war in a region, the locals look for ways to ease their frustration in an effort to remain hopeful. Afghanistan has been at war for a long time and while most people are aware of the United States invasion in 2001, the Soviet Union occupied the region in 1979. The Middle East region is renowned for its creative rug art, and this trade was popular among women. Up until the dawn of the 1980s, Afghanistan rug makers would dramatically alter the designs of the rugs. Instead of flowers, tanks, airplanes and rocket launchers would comprise the basic design of the rugs. Even though these new-age rug designs would be symbolic of hard and trying times, they would be among the richest art forms as a result of war.

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Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s unpredictable paintings on museum walls

Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s unpredictable paintings on museum walls

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, 2013

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, 2013
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, 2013

ADA, a kinetic sculpture by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, stands out for being interactive and unpredictable; Imagine a giant ball that is filled with helium gas and its surface covered with charcoal spikes. The helium causes the ball to be suspended in the air and the charcoal sticks provide grips and a medium with which to create art.

Through numerous exhibitions ADA is getting immense attention from visitors and the best part is, you do not have to be an artist yourself to enjoy the experience. Visitors get to push the ball which moves freely in space because it is not attached to anything and as the ball comes into contact with the surrounding walls, the charcoal sticks draw ambiguous lines on them. The result of what is drawn is never predictable and it is perhaps this feeling of suspense that keeps visitors coming back.

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Photos of world’s biggest statues taken from unusual angles – Fabrice Fouillet

Photos of world’s biggest statues taken from unusual angles – Fabrice Fouillet

Fabrice Fouillet - Colosses - Jibo Kannon Kagaonsen, Japan 73 m (239 ft) Built in 1987
Fabrice FouilletColosses, Jibo Kannon, Kagaonsen, Japan, 73m (239ft), Built in 1987

Fabrice Fouillet’s ‘Colosses’

Through several centuries, there have been different statues erected around the world. These statues vary in sizes and what they represent. Photographer Fabrice Fouillet embarked on a tour to study and take photographs of the biggest and most imposing statues in the world; A project he named Colosses. The project brings about a change in how these monuments are viewed, in other words, the idea of the project is not entirely to capture images of the statues or show off their sizes or the symbol they represent. The project, however, is to show these figures in the environment they are in and how they fit into the landscape and their connections to their immediate surroundings. Colosses is a study of the landscape in which monuments and commemorative statues are erected and tends to bring out another perspective from which these symbolic representations can be viewed.

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Public Delivery: Project during Olympics in Sochi, Russia

Public Delivery: Project during Olympics in Sochi, Russia

sochi-russia-olympics-2014

Utopia, 2014

Produced in the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russian during the Olympics last week.

More info following


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