For the opening of her debut solo museum exhibition, the Pussy Riot founder discusses feminine rage, the creative process, spirituality and manifesting Russia’s post-Putin future. For Nadya Tolokonnikova, rage has always been an antidote to her despair at the Kremlin’s repressions.  “When something terrible happens, I’m free to choose — either I lay low in tears, or I rage. And through my rage, the better world starts to manifest,” the founder of the Pussy Riot feminist protest art collective says. “Like an alchemist, I transform rage into beauty, rage into art, rage into political action.” In “Rage,” her debut solo museum exhibition that opens Friday at the OK Linz contemporary art museum, Tolokonnikova, 34, channels that emotion into powerful and provocative meditations on violence, spirituality, patriarchy and resistance to authoritarianism. Consisting of sculptures, mixed-media pieces, paintings and the Situationist-style performance art for which Pussy Riot is known, “Rage” is as much an encapsulation of Tolokonnikova’s rich career as an artist and activist as it is a reflection of her present-day fury at President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine. In a room called Putin’s Mausoleum, Pussy Riot’s 2022 performance “Putin’s Ashes” plays on a loop. In the video, Tolokonnikova and other balaclava-clad women from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus burn a portrait of Putin in the desert, then stab the ground in an almost shamanistic ritual. The ashes were stored in vials that are placed throughout the room. That performance is believed to have prompted the Russian authorities to add Tolokonnikova, who lives outside Russia, to the country’s federal wanted list. She was arrested in absentia last year, putting her at risk of extradition, and certain detention upon entering Russia.

via moscow times: The Revolutionary Rage of Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova


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