Monday, April 28, 2014


Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
oil on wood
15" x 12", 2014
Putin Lights Up the Fires, Putin Zassal (Putin wets his pants), and Putin Will Teach you to Love the Motherland are three Pussy riot songs that are in the current list of 100. The titles clearly show the main topic of Pussy Riot's music. The last one from the list of three is also the last to appear in the top 100. It was released in 2014, coinciding with the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The video shows Pussy Riot members being attacked by Cossacks. Lots and lots of media attention has surrounded Pussy Riot since their infamous performance at a Russian Orthodox Church in 2012, but it is not just their political activism that gained them this global notoriety, it is the music too that validated the fame. Two of the founding members of Pussy Riot, Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were involved early on with the Russian street-art group Voina (f. 2007). One of the most memorable pieces this group produced is the Giant Galactic Space Dick, a 213 feet long (tall, when in raised position), 89 feet wide phallus painted on a bridge in St. Petersburg.
I take any and every opportunity to bring punk rock into the canon of art history. (By my modest means of bringing it into the art history classroom—I did not show the above image however.)

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