Free Pussy Riot!

© Mustikka

In September 2008 a little-known group by the name of Voina descended on an unsuspecting hypermarket on the outskirts of Moscow, blocking off one of the massive aisles with shopping carts and staging a lynching of three hired gasterbaiters (a derogatory but prevalent term for migrant workers from Central Asia). These workers-cum-performers had agreed to be paid for their services, and the happening might have effectively addressed the city’s callous labor system had it not been for the added distraction of two hot-panted “homosexual” comrades-in-nooses, who spent most of the video documentation prancing and giggling into their feather boas and angel wings while the workers looked on bewildered. It was supposed to speak to gay rights, but it felt like a fraternity stunt.

In 2012, tables turned, and the women of Voina took center stage with their offshoot group Pussy Riot, whose catchy name has arguably garnered them more fans than their purposefully abrasive music has. The “band” had been performing guerrilla-style “concerts” since last November, screaming songs from store windows, the rooftops of a public tram, and a detention center, and even on Red Square, where they spouted calls for Tahrir in Moscow (“Egyptian air is good for the lungs”). They wore balaclavas to cancel out the distraction of female beauty—and perhaps rightfully so.

Once unmasked, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s pouty prettiness—even after five months in prison she looks like she just patted off her face in a Noxzema commercial—earned her an international following, as well as an invite to pose (unpaid) on the cover of Ukrainian Playboy.

Pussy Riot’s performances made the social networking rounds as campy videos, but the general public—then preoccupied with pre-election protests—barely took note. That is, until lady-Voina targeted the country’s unspoken second-in-command. Not Prime Minister Medvedev (he already had his orgy), but the Russian Orthodox Church and its Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, a former KGB colleague of Putin’s who was promoted to the church’s head when he assumed leadership, and who promptly mobilized God and his congregation in support of Putin. Under this regime, the church has increasingly intervened in state matters, forming a kind of Second Kremlin in the Church of Christ the Saviour, the seat of Russian Orthodoxy, or—as the Moscow court would continuously refer to it—“God’s personal address.”
On February 21, 2012, five masked girls sang about exactly this corruption, pleading with the Virgin Mary to drive Putin and his cronies from her church. The girls entered the cathedral as any other members of the flock, but once inside, they stripped off their coats and donned colorful masks, in flagrant disregard of the cathedral’s code of conduct. The invaders then broke into the altar (an area reserved for the priests and thus expressly forbidden to women), where they performed some aerobics-y maneuvers for all of thirty seconds before being chased out by security. When a retooled video of the events appeared on YouTube (accompanied by the song “Virgin Mary, Drive Putin Out,” and edited so as to seem much longer), the state was forced to act. In early March, three of the performers— Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Ekaterina Samutsevich—were arrested and officially charged with felony hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, an offense carrying a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

© Aldo Lanzini

Mustikka is sustaining the cause. Some years ago i collaborated to the masked performance of the Italian artist and friend Aldo Lanzini. His work will be promoted as symbol of my personal sustain to Pussy Riot.

Daniel Buren for southern Italy

During my holidays in Italy i realized that Daniel Buren is  the star of Intersezioni 2012 at the Archaeological Park of Scolacium, in Catanzaro, where five site specific installations were conceived.


As stated Alberto Fiz, “the new edition of Intersections is a landing point for an event from year to year more and more ambitious. On this occasion, Buren has developed a syncretism with ancient ruins and annulled the temporal distance between the ancient and the contemporary. Intervention, his radical and brave, where it is evident that both the Park Scolacium to cause the work which exists only in close relation with the environment. This is a real turning point against other major projects in this place. “


The show involves the nerve centers of the park with a series of interventions designed specifically for the Basilica, the Forum, the Roman theater and the olive grove.

The Basilica is illuminated by red and blue Plexiglas windows in the back to an imaginary utopian magical and unpredictable alternation of light and shadows. “For me the color is pure thought, therefore, is totally indescribable. As abstract as a mathematical or a philosophical concept, “he wrote Buren.

The court, however, is the subject of a great reconstruction where Buren reinvents a colonnade consisting of 53 elements in wood from the fragments exist. In this case the place of archeology seems to be the inspiring element of an architectural project that defies time and space.

Exceptional, then, the spectacular action designed for the theater where Buren has devised a structure reflective of over 30 meters long and three meters in height, placed at the center, you can double the image of ‘old building by developing a visual context entirely alienating the place where the perception undergoes a gradual transformation of thinking and at the same time hiding space. There is opposite to impermanence of the look that absorbs the data of a virtual reality.

Buren, then, was particularly fascinated from olive surrounding the park creating a perfect integration with the sites of history and, for this occasion, has designed an installation of over 20 items that embraces the olive trees, highlighting the features and peculiarities in the evocative setting of the Park Scolacium.


How Buren says: “My installations allow for both accentuate the lines of force existing within the park, fill gaps, such as the Basilica, replicate simple geometric shapes, draw lines through space, detect the heights, as in the theater, or even, find the column that never existed”.

Intersezioni since 2005 has hosted some of the greatest exponents of Italian sculpture and international such as Stephan Balkenhol, Tony Cragg, Wim Delvoye, Jan Fabre, Antony Gormley, Dennis Oppenheim, Mimmo Paladino, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marc Quinn and Mauro Staccioli.


“Intersezioni together with MARCA, represents a point of reference of our cultural programming and also in a situation of general difficulties our administration has committed itself with determination to create an event that has taken on special significance in the cultural context and artistic territory. “said Wanda Iron President of the Province of Catanzaro. “The best proof of our success is the involvement of a major player on the international scene such as Daniel Buren who made the park a place of unique design and unique that only you can see here.”



Selected by Ingrid Melano

Sophie Calle – For the Last and First Time

“I went to Istanbul. I spoke to blind people, most of whom had lost their sight suddenly. I asked them to describe the last thing they saw”. Sophie Calle

© Adagp, Paris 2012

La Dernière Image (The last Image), realized in 2011 in Istanbul, once named the “city of the blind”, gives voice to men and women who have lost their sight and asks them to describe the last image they remember, their last memory of the visible world.

© Adagp, Paris 2012

The new solo exhibition by the French conceptual artist Sophie Calle Pour la dernière et pour la première fois (For the Last and First Time) is currently on view, alongside a series of recent films, Voir la mer (See the sea) from the lens of Caroline Champetier’s camera, at Les Rencontres d’ArlesChapelle Saint-Martin du Méjan, France. Starting from 8 September it will be possible to see the series at Perrotin Gallery, Paris.

© Adagp, Paris 2012

Born in 1953 in Paris, Sophie Calle is the daughter of Robert Calle, oncologist former director of the Institut Curie and collector behind the Carré d’Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Nimes. Strongly influenced by the entourage of close friends of his father (Raysse, Arman, Christian Boltanski), she decided to move towards the artistic creation.

© Sophie Calle

After being a pure activist – maoism, feminism, leftist proletarian, pro-palestinian fighting in southern Lebanon, she travelled for seven years around the world, she then returned to Paris. Lost without professional project without specific capacity, without friends, she decides to follow strangers on the street, as if to recover Paris through the paths of others. Soon, she begins to play, photography, note his movements, randomly chooses a man and decides to follow him to Paris, then in Venice. Later, a friend remarked on the warmth of the sheets, when it goes down to her, gives her the idea of ​​inviting people at random next few hours sleep in his bed.

© Sophie Calle

In 1979, Sophie Calle asked to different strangers to spend a number of hours in bed so that it is occupied continuously for eight days, by agreeing to be photographed and answer a few questions. She takes pictures of sleepers and dutifully notes the important details of these brief encounters: discussion topics, sleeping positions, their movements during their sleep, the detailed menu of breakfast she was preparing for them. This work, entitled Dormeurs (Sleepers), holds the attention of the critic Bernard Lamarche-Vadel, husband of one of the sleepers, he invited her to the Paris Biennale in 1980. “In fact, says Sophie Calle, it was he who decided that I was an artist. “

© Sophie Calle

Therefore, the work of Sophie Calle seeks to build bridges between art and life. In the form of installations, photographs, stories, videos and films. Her photographs and written accounts, borrowing the style of the description or inventory report, attest to the reality of the situations it creates: a maid in a hotel, a stripper at a fairground, pursuit of a man in Venice, etc.. Often based on rules and constraints, her works question the porous boundary between the public and private sphere.

© Sophie Calle

Published by Actes Sud, Sophie Calle has published numerous books. The Centre Pompidou has devoted an exhibition in 2004. She represented France at the Venice Biennale from June 10 to November 21, 2007 with two works: Take care of yourself, a breakup letter received by Sophie Calle and analyzed by 107 professional women suggesting her how to technically take care, and a video made at upon the death of his mother, when unfortunately she didn’t manage to catch her last breath.

Installation View Venice Biennale

Les Rencontres d’Arles

Galerie Perrotin

Huffington Post

La Botanique du rêve

Born in 1982 in Jinzhou in Liaoning Province, Yan Heng studied within the Oil Painting Department at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in China. He currently lives and works in Beijing. Inaugurating the artist’s first personal exhibition in the West“La Botanique du rêve” , Sator Gallery, in Paris, presents different series of works with oil on canvas to which he combines three dimensional objects and incorporates into installations.

© Yan Heng

The paintings of Yan Heng are figurative and narrative, products of his own experiences as well as the collective metaphors of contemporary Chinese society. His representations of the body and his introspective approach are illustrative of a new pictorial tendency within Chinese art. The work of Yan Heng derives its sources from daily life. He takes lived reality as his starting point, transforming it and pushing it toward a surreality which evades direct readings. Incorporating into his work objects of fantasy and appropriation, he takes ideological and social emblems from China during the second half of the 20th century (a car reserved for political dignitaries, a sculpture of Lenin) and merges them with symbols and icons of the new consumer society (a washing machine, a computer key- board and monitor, an image of Michael Jackson).

© Yan Heng

Intertwining the lived, personal experiences of the artist with his observations of the society of his contemporaries, arising from both individual and collective memory, his work resembles a dreamlike exploration, an animated and unfinished dialogue be- tween reason and the thoughts of poetic imagination.

Sept. 8th to Nov. 3rd 2012

Private opening in the presence of the artist september 6th 6-9pm

Sator Gallery 

Equestrian Contemporary Art: Donkeys

© Maurizio Cattelan

The noun donkey generally refers to domestic species Equus asinus, and his figure is found in ancient worship of African and Mediterranean cultures. In classical mythology, Greek and Latin, the donkey represented the instinctive aspect of human beings. As a literary character and fable, from the Greeks and Romans became a symbol of stubbornness, stupidity and lust, traits that are found in the European tradition through the Middle Ages to the present day.

© Maurizio Cattelan

But the donkey is also a strong animal, intelligent, highly prized for its mild character, a great pet that is suitable for various environmental conditions. He gallop rarely, but can trot for hours, his verse is called braying, his distinctive voice is not pleasant. The braying is more common among younger, may indicate an expression of greeting and appeal to their contemporaries. He can live 40 years.

© Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan is probably on the top of donkeys’ sculpture. Sometimes representing the artist himself, sometimes reminding a traditional image from Christian iconography by carrying a television set on his back instead of Christ with palm fronds; the saviour has been replaced by the instrument of the mass media.

© Paola Pivi

But donkey is ultimately a sweet burden who find himself in absurd situations as in Paola Pivi’s photos, and who is governable enough to pose with the young new yorkers of Ryan McGinley’s crew.

© Ryan McGinley

Finally in Zhang Huan’s work the donkey is mounting and bending a building, Chinese icon of modernism, giving a literal shafting from the ‘proletariat‘.

© Zhang Huan

Galerie Perrotin

Saatchi Gallery

Selected by Ingrid Melano