press release

The conceptual artist and political activist Petr Pavlensky represents a new wave of protest and dissident art in Russia. With groups like Pussy Riot and Voina (War) these artists use strong measures through their bodies in performances and actions to combat government oppression and dictatorship. Uncompromisingly and with civil disobedience they create situations that radically challenge the state´s mentality and its system.

The exhibition Anonymous Nationalist recounts an episode from real life where a murder was committed in a civilian setting, but with militaristic intentions. We see the torso of a young man whose naked body bare witness of severe violence, and hear his voice recalling the fatal event in an explicit language. His story crystallizes the essence of nationalist ideology without exculpatory national liberal theories or other distracting decorative aesthetic superstructures.

KNIPSU is an artist-run initiative in Bergen, Norway that operates as a local art space and a mobile arena, producing exhibitions, events, screenings, concerts, workshops and publications. KNIPSU set out to provide an interdisciplinary meeting point for creative exchange and dialogue between artists across national borders. It is run within the framework of collaboration and DIY by artists Hilde Jørgensen and Maya Økland since August 2010. KNIPSU is generously supported by the Norwegian Arts Council and Bergen City.

Curated by Maya Økland & Hilde Jørgensen for KNIPSU in collaboration with Delfina Jałowik for the Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow

Petr Pavlensky (b. 1984) – educated at the Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy in Russia. Pavlensky is a conceptual artist and renowned for his powerful political interventions in public space. Notably, as a reaction to the arrest of Pussy Riot, he appeared outside an Orthodox cathedral with his mouth sewn up. He recently staged a protest in solidarity with the Ukrainian protesters at the Maidan in Kiev. He is one of the editors of the art magazine Political Propaganda. Petr Pavlensky lives and works in St. Petersburg.