Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bridge penis on art award shortlist

The controversial Russian guerilla art group Voina (War) has been shortlisted for a state prize, the organizers of the Innovations award said on Friday.

Voina was nominated for a piece of performance art that saw a 65 metre phallus painted on a bridge opposite the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Services (FSB), the heir to the KGB. The penis was painted at night and flipped up in front of the building - and stunned officers - when the bridge was raised.

Two of the group's members are currently in custody awaiting trial for their part in another performance that saw police cars flipped over as a statement on police corruption. They face seven years behind bars if convicted. The winner of the prize will be awarded 250,000 rubles ($8,500). The Innovations award is organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Center for Modern Art.

YouTube link.

British artist Banksy recently donated over $120,000 to the group, which also famously staged an orgy in a Moscow museum to mark President Dmitry Medvedev's 2008 inauguration. The group has also thrown live cats at McDonald's workers to "relieve" the tedium of the working-day. The group say they are dedicated to the "destruction of outdated repressive-patriarchal socio-political symbols and ideologies."

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