November 28, 2022

Beaten, jailed, exiled and still taunting Putin: inside Pussy Riot’s filthy, furious show

They fled Russia disguised as food couriers. Now a major exhibition is celebrating the collective’s punky protest art, from a urine-splattered portrait of Putin to the cathedral gig that landed them in prisonThe first thing you see is a framed portrait of Vladimir Putin propped against a table. The Russian leader looks like a secular icon, like Lenin in his mausoleum, seemingly incapable of human expression. But this being a video installation, there is more. Standing on the table is figure in a long gown and orange balaclava, like Rasputin in women’s clothes, or a very unorthodox priest. The figure raises their skirts and a jet of urine spurts over the portrait.Welcome to Reykjavík and to Velvet Terrorism, an exhibition tracing the decade-long history of Russian art collective Pussy Riot. “Is that you?” I ask Maria Alyokhina, AKA Masha, pointing at the masked urinator? The Pussy Riot co-founder has been showing me, over a video conferencing app, around the exhibition she and members of Icelandic art collective Kling & Bang (Dorothee Kirch, Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir and Ragnar Kjartansson) are installing. Kjartansson, who earlier this year helped Alyokhina flee Russia, holds the phone and gives me a view of Alyokhina at work. Continue reading...
November 13, 2022

Nuclear power is not the only option | Letters

Why is the government fixated on Sizewell C when geothermal and tidal energy are safe, simple and cost-effective?I do not share your enthusiasm for the “good news” that Sizewell C is believed to be safe from Jeremy Hunt’s budgetary cuts (“Britain can’t afford to waver over nuclear power – soon it will be too late”, Editorial). “On a freezing cold, windless, winter’s evening”, Britain’s grid will indeed need an alternative power source to wind or solar, but why is it assumed that only nuclear can provide an alternative base load? And at the cost of how many billions? And how many decades of lead time?Geothermal could do the job faster, more safely and cheaply – for about a quarter of the cost. Geothermal power plants operate already in the United States, Italy and Iceland. And nothing is more certain and regular than the tide twice a day; sea turbines already operate in tidal flows off Orkney and Shetland and are another safe source of energy baseload. Let us not be blinkered by nuclear.Wendy FowlerCarnac-Rouffiac, France Continue reading...
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