Contemporary art United Kingdom

A message to Putin

Pussy Riot

Last year, the top spot in ArtReview magazine’s “Power 100” was held by Ai Weiwei, and, although this year’s parade of art-world movers and shakers will not be announced until 18 October, we can reveal that political activism has yet again been recognised with the inclusion of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot in the lineup. According to the editor of ArtReview, Mark Rappolt, the anti-Putin collective—three of whom were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in August on charges of hooliganism and religious hatred—are positioned “somewhere in the middle” of the list. “They have made a powerful contribution to the issues of free speech and art, and this persuaded the panel to include them, even though they are not strictly speaking artists,” he reveals. Ai’s selection for the 2011 list was greeted by a furious outburst from the Chinese government, which condemned the magazine’s “political bias and perspective”. Let’s see if Pussy Riot’s presence in the “Power” pantheon provokes any comment from President Putin, who has stated that the imprisoned trio, who are appealing, “got what they asked for”.

More from The Art Newspaper


Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this