The art performance: Russian Security Service burns in the fire
10:32, 9 November 2015

The art performance: Russian Security Service burns in the fire

Artist-actionist Pavlensky set on fire the main office of Russian Security Service and was detained by law enforcers

10:32, 9 November 2015

Tonight Russian artist-actionist Petr Pavlensky presented another art performance in the center of Moscow. This time he set fire to Federal Security Service office in Moscow,

"Fear turns the free people into a sticky mass of disparate bodies. Imminent threat of violence hangs over everyone who could be reached by the surveillance devices, eavesdropping and the passport control. The military courts eliminate any manifestation of free will," explains his actions actionist.

Pavlensky came to the central office of the Federal Security Service with a canister of gasoline; in just a few seconds, he poured wooden front door with gasoline and set it to fire.

After 30 seconds, Pavlensky and the journalists that recorded the performance were detained by the security of the building. All of them were taken to one of the capital police station. "Journalists have told me that the police were affraid of the artist, thinking he's mad. "Who knows what he might do, he had nailed his balls to the pavement once!" wrote Varlamov, Russian blogger.

"Burning door of Lubyanka is a glove that society throws in the face of the terrorist threat. Federal Security Service operates by continuous terror and holds power over 146 million people, - says Pavlensky. - But terrorism can only exist at the expense of the animal instinct of fear. An unconditional defensive reflex makes us fight against the instinct of man. This is the reflex of fighting for our life".

The artist called his performance "The Threat". Recalling, he became known for sewing his mouth shut in political protest against the incarceration of members of the Pussy riot group.


In 2014 Pavlensky cut off his earlobe with a chef's knife while sitting naked on the roof of the infamous Serbsky Center in protest against political abuse of psychiatry in Russia. He also organized the action named Freedom in support of Maidan and 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. The artist and his friends built an imitation barricade on Tripartite Bridge in Saint Petersburg, burned tires, beat drums and shouted Maidan slogans.


In 2013 the artist had been sitting naked on the stone pavement in front of the Lenin's Mausoleum on the Red Square in Moscow, and he hammered a large nail through his scrotum affixing it to the stone pavement. "A naked artist, looking at his testicles nailed to the cobblestone is a metaphor of apathy, political indifference, and fatalism of Russian society," explained Pavlensky his performance.

Горящая дверь Лубянки from Petr Pavlenskij on Vimeo.

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