Photos: Pussy Riot’s anarchistic art hits London

Humiliation and forced labour are among ordeals awaiting visitors to an exhibition recreating the trial and experience of Russian collective Pussy Riot after their 2012 Moscow cathedral protest. The Saatchi London gallery is hosting artwork from the group and other Russian activists in an exhibition entitled "Art Riot", marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution.

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST 9 Photos
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‘Masks Show Series 2’ by The Blue Noses group seen at Saatchi Gallery in London. Pussy Riot, the Russian collective that hit headlines for members being jailed by the Putin government after a punk protest in a cathedral in 2012, have brought their message to London with a new exhibition. London’s Saatchi Gallery is hosting artwork from the group and other Russian activists in an exhibition entitled “Art Riot”, marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

‘Masks Show Series 2’ by The Blue Noses group seen at Saatchi Gallery in London. Pussy Riot, the Russian collective that hit headlines for members being jailed by the Putin government after a punk protest in a cathedral in 2012, have brought their message to London with a new exhibition. London’s Saatchi Gallery is hosting artwork from the group and other Russian activists in an exhibition entitled “Art Riot”, marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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A gallery assistant poses with ‘Pussy Icons’ by contemporary artist Lusine Djanyan. The 2012 stunt resulted in two members serving two years in penal colonies, gaining them notoriety, the support of Western politicians and mega-artists like Madonna. Visitors to the exhibition will don balaclavas similar to the group’s members and be preached at by priests. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

A gallery assistant poses with ‘Pussy Icons’ by contemporary artist Lusine Djanyan. The 2012 stunt resulted in two members serving two years in penal colonies, gaining them notoriety, the support of Western politicians and mega-artists like Madonna. Visitors to the exhibition will don balaclavas similar to the group’s members and be preached at by priests. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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Political art is as vital as ever in the country, said Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina (above, left) ahead of the opening. “We didn’t expect a prison term, nor attention, you just have to do things and see what happens,” she said. As part of the exhibition, fellow member Nadya Tolokonnikova has recounted her experience in the penal institution through immersive theatre. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Political art is as vital as ever in the country, said Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina (above, left) ahead of the opening. “We didn’t expect a prison term, nor attention, you just have to do things and see what happens,” she said. As part of the exhibition, fellow member Nadya Tolokonnikova has recounted her experience in the penal institution through immersive theatre. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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'Mad Dog' by Ukrainian-born Russian artist Oleg Kulik who lived as a “man-dog” in a belief that it embodied the period after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The London show, where each room is dedicated to a different artist, is curated by Marat Guelman. “We want to show an exhibition where the artist is important, not only the art,” he explained. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

'Mad Dog' by Ukrainian-born Russian artist Oleg Kulik who lived as a “man-dog” in a belief that it embodied the period after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The London show, where each room is dedicated to a different artist, is curated by Marat Guelman. “We want to show an exhibition where the artist is important, not only the art,” he explained. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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A larger selection from 'Masks Show Series 2' by The Blue Noses group at Saatchi Gallery. With some critics dismissing Pussy Riot’s work as petty crimes, Guelman rebuts, “Especially when politics goes down and there is no free media, the artist has become the last free person, who speaks to government and says truth, and is not afraid.” (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

A larger selection from 'Masks Show Series 2' by The Blue Noses group at Saatchi Gallery. With some critics dismissing Pussy Riot’s work as petty crimes, Guelman rebuts, “Especially when politics goes down and there is no free media, the artist has become the last free person, who speaks to government and says truth, and is not afraid.” (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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'Islamic Project' a piece by AES+F, a collective of four Russian artists, makes a statement on the Islamicisation of Britain. While some artists try to affect change from inside Russia, Guelman said many like him had been forced to leave. “It was impossible to do exhibitions,” (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

'Islamic Project' a piece by AES+F, a collective of four Russian artists, makes a statement on the Islamicisation of Britain. While some artists try to affect change from inside Russia, Guelman said many like him had been forced to leave. “It was impossible to do exhibitions,” (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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An artwork depicting members of Pussy Riot performing behind bars seen at the exhibition. “It was a joke that a lot of talented people were born in Russia, but not a lot died in Russia,” Guelman said, adding that the Russian diaspora was now a “very powerful” cultural force. (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)

An artwork depicting members of Pussy Riot performing behind bars seen at the exhibition. “It was a joke that a lot of talented people were born in Russia, but not a lot died in Russia,” Guelman said, adding that the Russian diaspora was now a “very powerful” cultural force. (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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Such an exhibition would not be allowed in Russia, said Alyokhina, concurring while highlighting Siberian artist Vasily Slonov’s work -- a pile of Lenin-era books whose spines have been sculpted into a face. (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)

Such an exhibition would not be allowed in Russia, said Alyokhina, concurring while highlighting Siberian artist Vasily Slonov’s work -- a pile of Lenin-era books whose spines have been sculpted into a face. (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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A piece from Ukrainian artist Arsen Savadov ‘s 'Donbass-Chocolate' project seen t the 'Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism' and 'Inside Pussy Riot' exhibitions at Saatchi Gallery. Despite the limitations, both Alyokhina and Guelman believe Russia can still be the incubator of great art. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

A piece from Ukrainian artist Arsen Savadov ‘s 'Donbass-Chocolate' project seen t the 'Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism' and 'Inside Pussy Riot' exhibitions at Saatchi Gallery. Despite the limitations, both Alyokhina and Guelman believe Russia can still be the incubator of great art. (Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2017 11:59 AM IST
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