Entertainment & Arts

Pussy Riot to put audience 'in prison' in theatrical show

Pussy Riot, Rehearsal, 2011 Image copyright Pussy Riot/Saatchi Gallery
Image caption Pussy Riot, Rehearsal, 2011

Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot are to put followers in mock Russian cells, labour camps and courtrooms as part of a new performance based on their own detention in 2012 and 2013.

Three members of the group were jailed after performing a protest song in Moscow's main cathedral.

They say the performance will show "exactly what Pussy Riot went through during our imprisonment".

Titled Inside Pussy Riot, it will take place at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

The "wild theatrical experience" will coincide with an exhibition dedicated to Pussy Riot and other Russian protest artists, which will be held at the same venue. Both will take place in November and December.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nadya Tolokonnikova

Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova will take part in selected performances and said the experience "shows you what prison, prosecution of political activists and police oppression looks like".

Her statement added: "It also reminds you what democracy, on the contrary, looks like. And when I say 'democracy', I mean real democracy, which is about direct participation of citizens.

"Inside Pussy Riot plunges you into the totality of an authoritarian system - if you do not choose real democracy and participation, authoritarianism chooses you."

She is creating the show with London-based theatre company Les Enfants Terribles. It will take over two gallery areas in the Saatchi Gallery.

Image copyright Pyotr Pavlensky/Saatchi Gallery
Image caption Pyotr Pavlensky rolled naked in barbed wire for his work Carcass

The rest of the venue will be dedicated to Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism, which will show exhibits by Pussy Riot and other protest artists from the past 25 years.

They will include Pyotr Pavlensky, who has sewn his lips together, nailed himself to Red Square by the scrotum and set fire to a door at the headquarters of Russia's security service, the FSB.

The exhibition will also feature Oleg Kulik, Blue Noses Art Group, Arsen Savadov, AES + F and Vasily Slonov.

Inside Pussy Riot will run from 14 November to 24 December, while Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism will run from 16 November to 31 December.


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