Free Pavlensky!

The Russian military security service FSB is insane, and has sent artist Petr Pavlensky to a mental hospital to check if he’s sane!

Pavlensky is the first artist since the Soviet collapse 1991, who is sent by force to a psychiatric clinic, the infamous Serbsky, in Russia’s notorious penitentiary system. “They could hold him there indefinitely”, according to Maria Alyokhina of PussyRiot.

Peter Pavlensky and his partner Oksana Shalygina are renowned for their dedication to feminism, gender equality, contemporary art in a political context, and overcoming cultural chauvinism implemented by the government. Pavlensky has sewed his lips together, wrapped and rolled himself naked in barbed wire, nailed his balls to the Read Square, and cut of his ear-lobe. He is world famous for his living pain performance art, which expose the brutality of a government trying to make tools out of people.

Pavlensky is now charged for “vandalism motivated by political hatred” in an upcoming trial in March, after an action in November 2015 (in the Eve of the commemoration of the Police and Internal Affairs Servicemen’s Day) were he put fire on the doors of the KGB domestic successor FSB, at the entrance to the very same institutions at Lubyanka where thousands were tortured and killed. Pavlensky’s political action and performance art “Threat”, was made to symbolize the gates of hell in Putin’s Russia.

The more the former director of FSB/KGB Vladimir Putin, and the brutal Russian regime, make fools of themselves by punishing artists, the more they will just prove the point of the art and opposition that they are trying to silence.

“Pavlensky has triumphed and forced the state machine to creak and collapse. The only way is ahead!” – Oksana Shalygina.

While Pavlensky is still held prisoner “for psychiatric observations” and not allowed to meet his lawyer or family, he was nominated to Russia’s top Art Innovation Prize in the visual art category for the performance piece “Threat: Lubyanka’s Burning Door”. The art world’s expertise and votes were raised for Pavlensky’s art.

This week, this year’s Innovatsiya Prize, was canceled by the organizers in protest against the repressive machinery of the Russian state, after the nomination of Pavlensky was rejected by the state-run National Centre for Contemporary Arts.

Dead art institutions want week and conformist artists, not indomitable questions and actions. Repressive authorities want artists without a flame, so that they can burn down autonomy.

We need artists who stand up for human rights. Art is supposed to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Rulers of society pay for and demand political correctness, but free art can’t be bought or tamed.

FEMEN Sweden activists went searching for the artistic flame of the Swedish Art Establishment – at the central Gothenburg Art Hall entrance – and wonder if the uproar for freedom of art instead has found itself a more comfortable spot. Where is the solidarity for Pavlensky and other artists when freedom of expression is violated?

This is our tribute to Pavlensky!
FEMEN stand up against threats against free art!



Femen Merchandise

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