Ukraine’s artist-agitator Alexander Volodarsky’s action Stalin’s Icon stirred up a little trouble over the weekend. Volodarsky, trailed by a crew conspirators and bystander babushkas, presented his portrait of the mustached dictator stylized as a holy icon inside Kiev’s historic church Pechersk Lavra. He preceded to recite this poem/prayer: “They moan at the candles / before a portait of Stalin… And as instructed by the great Ilich / they shove a brick up their anus, each.”
It didn’t go over so well. After a ruckus erupted inside among the religious offended, the artist was escorted out and his object “essence of totalitarianism” along with him. As you know if you read ANIMAL’s Slav Beat, there’s lots of religious hoopla around freedom of speech in ex-Soviet states.
The art-activist’s most famous action was in 2009, when he and an anonymous partner protested Ukraine’s censorship-happy Morality Board by getting naked and simulating all kinds of sex in front of Ukraine’s Supreme Council building, like so (photos NSFW). He was sent to a historical castle of a prison for months, for hooliganism, despite protests from several notable cultural figures.