Religious/Political. Group exhibition of artists in residency
The Religious/Political exhibition is about the inevitable intersection of church and state power. This intersection, which has always existed throughout history, is still relevant today. For example, the official Russian Orthodox Church supported the war in Ukraine. The church merged with the repressive state and scorned the commandment not to kill.
However, contemporary dissident artists continue to work with Christian themes, referring to the image of Christ as the most famous political prisoner. And they, in turn, become targets of persecution and repression. The exhibition focuses on the work of Russian actionist Pavel Krisiewicz. One of the artist's most famous actions took place in front of the FSB building in Moscow in 2020. Pavel's assistants, wearing coats emblazoned with the letters F, C and B, tied him to a three-metre cross and set him on fire. Folders symbolising political cases were thrown into the fire. The artist was arrested for 15 days for this action.
Pavel is currently in prison, having been sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment for his act of imitating suicide on Red Square. Suicide as a sacrifice is one of the central themes of his work. Beginning with his actions in support of political prisoners, he has become a prisoner himself.
Other artists from Russia and Ukraine - Darya Yurishcheva, Lev Nikitin, Zoya Pilipenko - have taken up the baton, creating works inspired by the dissident's courage.
The intersection of sacrifice, the willingness to fight for one's faith, on the one hand, and the repression of the state and the church, on the other, is particularly loud in the land of the Waldensians, who have suffered so much and fought for their rights.