The group doesn’t cooperate on principle with any of Russian curators, nor gallerists, state or private institutions. More than 20 criminal cases have been brought against the group. In 2010-2011 Vorotnikov and Nikolayev were detained in jail for 3.5 months under accusation of inciting hatred towards the police by means of the art-actions. They were released from custody, as artist Banksy bailed them out. At the present moment Voina Group are wanted by the Russian police. Voina activists have experienced dozens of arrests, searches, as sault sand batteries committed by Russian cops. The latest arrest was made on October 18, 2011 when the group was filmed by the German TV journalists.
Photo of the 65-meters-high graffiti from the action "Dick captured by KGB!". The Voina art-group. 2010
E-mail of the Voina art-group: a(а)plutser:ru
Since July, 21 2011 Oleg Vorotnikov, the founding father of the Voina group, is wanted by Interpol. He was put on the international wanted list by the Russian corrupted cops. On September 21, 2011 the worldwide solidarity «Voina Wanted» action for the persecuted artist started in Vienna.
Some of the group's actions:
December 31, 2011 at 23:25
"Cop's auto-da-fe, or Fucking Prometheus".
On December 31, 2011 at 23:25 one of Voina activists climbed over the fence of the police station No.71 in St. Petersburg to hold an auto-da-fe for a police prisoner transport truck, that is used to detain free-minded people at peaceful demonstrations. The prison-on-wheels was set on fire with Molotov cocktails and totally burned down. Oleg Vorotnikov, Leonid Nikolayev, Natalia Sokol and other activists took part in the action. Cops didn't succeed in arresting any of them.
Alexei Plutser-Sarno, Voina chief media artist, stated: "Dear Russians, this action is a modest gift to all of you from the Voina Group. It's a gift to all political prisoners of Russia: Philip Kostenko, Sergei Udaltsov, TaisiaOsipova, Sergei Mokhnatkin, Vladimir Bukovsky and many others. We dedicate this action to the deceased heroic political prisoners Sergei Magnitsky, Anatoly Marchenko, KronidLyubarsky, Alexander Ginzburg, Andrei Sinyavsky, Yuri Galanskov, Yuli Daniel. Let's destroy all prisons! Freedom to all political prisoners! Feds don't fuck us - we fuck feds! Happy New Year, comrades!"
Photos - http://plucer.livejournal.com/531761.ht
<h2><b>Palace Revolution / “Beg for mercy, cop!”</b></h2>
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On the night of September 15, 2010, on the eve of the Biblical Judgment Day, in the center of St. Petersburg, 5 Voina activists overturned 7 police cars with their own hands. 6 cars were overturned during rehearsals, and one car – in front of the entrance to the State Russian museum. The last one was proclaimed by Plutser-Sarno as a street art installation.
“On the Judgement Day cop has to kneel down and beg us, workers of fine arts, for forgiveness. The God's punishment is coming. Repent your sins, two-faced dirty dealin' cops!”, stated the group. This action was a demand to reform the corrupted Ministry of Home Affairs. The action was held under the slogan “Helped a child – helped the country!”, since the reason of overturning was to get a ball from beneath the car back to a child.
On November 15th, 2010 because of the “Palace Revolution” action two Voina leaders, Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolayev were illegally arrested by the Center for Extremism Prevention in Moscow. They were accused of “hooliganism, committed on the motive of hatred and enmity to a social group,” namely, the police. After 3.5 months of detention, Oleg and Leonid were bailed off by street-artist Banksy. He sold his “Choose your weapon” prints and gave £80,000 to the Voina Group. Now that money is used only to help Russian political prisoners.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/297581.ht
Photo archive: http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/ebites
How to snatch a chicken. The tale of how one Cunt fed the whole of the group Voina.
The action “How to snatch a chicken” (“The tale of how one Cunt fed the whole Voina group”) took place on July 20, 2010 in the supermarket “Nakhodka” in the Orenburgskaya street in St. Petersburg. It was published on July 24, on the 182nd birthday of the great Russian writer and revolutionary Nikolay Chernyshevsky, who due to his artworksspent 27 years in prison, penal servitude and internal exile. The action contains the hidden cites from Leo Tolstoy, Daniil Kharms and the tale “The Chicken Ryaba”.
The action was carried out as a part of the project “Voina in the supermarket!”.
Public symbolic dead chicken immersion into vagina was held under the slogan "Bezblyadno!" (i.e. “Without whoring!”).“In ancient Russia the word “whore” meant “lie” and “deception”. Nowadays in Russia there are millions of “whores” of both sexes, who lost their moral and ethical principles, who deceive and kill each other. Voina will symbolically fuck Russian cop-whores and their Kremlin prostitutes!”, proclaimed the group. The action was held under the slogan: “Let’s hit at pornography and fascism with Chicken Ryaba!”
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/281211.ht
Photo archive: http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/ebites
Dick captured by KGB / Voina’s 65-metres-high Cock
On the night of June 14, 2010, on Che Guevara birthday, Voina painted an enormous phallus on the Liteiny drawbridge in St Petersburg several minutes before it started rising.
The Voina activists poured the paint from the cans, while running from the bridge security. It took them only 23 seconds to create the gigantic Dick. Since there was nothing the guards could do to stop the bridge from opening, at 1 a.m. the phallus – 65 m tall, 27 m across, weighting 4000 tonnes– slowly erected just opposite the headquarters of the KGB's successors, the Federal Security Service. It could be seen from everywhere in the center of St Petersburg. Three Voina activists were beaten by the bridge guard; one of them, Leonid Nikolayev, was arrested.
Alex Plutser-Sarno, the Voina activist, defined the genre of the action as a “sketch in the open air” or a “street sketch”. Alex stated that the Dick was turned on not only by the main KGB office, but by the whole hierarchy of power in Russia. And it also was a protest against the heightened security measures expected at the International Economic Forum, held from June 17 in Saint Petersburg, the hometown of both Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The Dick graffiti was a monumental “Fuck you!” to the Russian corrupted authorities.
The entry about this action in plucer’sLiveJournal (the main information source of the group) was banned by the moderators (http://plucer.livejournal.com/259696.h
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/265584.ht
Photo archive: http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/trenir
Crazy Leo on top of Feds!
Crazy Leo is Our President!
(15-21 May, 2010) - http://plucer.livejournal.com/252735.ht
Media-Art (photo+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/252735.ht
Judges, go fuck yourselves!
(22 May, 2010) - http://plucer.livejournal.com/253505.ht
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/253505.ht
(28 May, 2010) The KGB officers without uniform without introduction kidnap Crazy Leo, put the handcuffs on his arms and a bag onto his head.
Shit – friend or foe?
Series of the performance by the VOINA art-activist A. Plutser-Sarno «Shit – friend or foe?» took place in Estonia. They symbolically showed that contemporary art, patronized by authorities, is bull shit.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/196273.ht
Curator Andrey Erofeev invited VOINA to participate in the exhibition «Lettrism» in Central House of Artist. The CHA administration demanded censorship restrictions for the group's stand. VOINA refused and made a spontaneous action «No to oppressors of Sots Art», directed against the exhibition's pogrom. After that the administration called police and set CHA security service on the group. The group was beaten and handed to police.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/168286.ht
Cock in the Ass / Punk Concert in the Courtroom
On May 29th, 2009 the Voina art group held an action in the federal court during the hearing of the prominent Russian curators - Andrei Yerofeyev, who was prosecuted for his art exhibitions.
The Voina activists secretly carried two guitars, microphones, amplifiers, and other stage equipment into the courtroom and pluged them into sockets behind the back row of benches. Just after the judge had declared the session open, the activists, presented as the punk band “Cock in the Ass”, turned on the stage equipment to the full volume, jumped onto the benches and performed their main hit - “All Cops are Bastards - you ought to remember that!” from the album “Fuck the Police Those Motherfucking Bosses”.
That was a protest against the repressions of intellectuals supported by the federal government.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/157798.ht
Banning of clubs
On the night of December 28/29 VOINA shut down a Moscow eatery and club «Oprichnik», owned by a Kremlin TV celebrity Mikhail Leontiev. The group blocked the entrance to restaurant with metal sheets, which were first power-clipped and then welded to the front door. The private entrance was obstructed by friendly anarchists.
A. Plutser-Sarno stated «By this action VOINA wants to express a protest against the rebirth of Ivan the Terrible socio-political system. We protest against oprichnina!». «Oprichnik» became an action object as here guests are welcomed by dog's heads and besoms – attributes of Ivan the Terrible oprichnina - symbols of doglike devotion to tyrant and thirst for searching and sweeping out Tsar's enemies».
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/128862.ht
Storm of the White House / Anarchy Birthday
Storm of the White House / Anarchy Birthday
On November 7th, 2008, Voina celebrated 120th birthday of the Russian anarchist leader Nestor Makhno by storming the Russia's parliament, the White House. The forty-meters-high skull-and-crossbones laser projection was fired onto the White House exterior and served as a signal for the Voina's assault team to start a symbolic storm.
The activists scaled the main 12-meters-high gates and proceeded through the highly secured Parliament grounds and ran to the central White House entrance meeting no resistance. The Voina's storming crew left several minutes before the Federal Security Service troopers appeared.
Before the action Alexei Plutser-Sarnostated: “The White House is the best canvas for an artist. The skull-and-crossbones on its facade is a warning to the corrupted authorities, that anarchy is an inevitable reaction to the politics of xenophobia and genocide”.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/112417.ht
Big size: http://www.photoshare.ru/photo2434047.h
Decembrists Commemoration / Public Execution in the Supermarket
On September 7, 2008, on Moscow City Day, the Voina group came to the city's biggest supermarket, where in the department of “Light” organized an execution by hanging of 3 illegal Central Asian migrant workers and 2 homosexuals, one of whom was a Jew. The lynching was a special gift to the Russian corrupted authorities, who incite homophobia, misanthropy and anti-Semitism. As a result of this policy the killings of Central Asians guest workers that have become an everyday reality in Russia.
The action, held under the slogan “No one gives a fuck about Pestel!”, was to remind about five Decembrists - the Russian revolutionists, who were hanged in 1826. One of them was an outstanding nobleman PavelPestel, who wanted to free the enslaved peasants in Russia. The group wanted to make the Russians remember the libertarian ideals of the country’s first revolutionists.
The group stated: «This action is a gift to the city's mayor, who pursues the policy of xenophobia and homophobia and who spreads slavery. The banner «Nobody gives a fuck about Pestel» should remind about execution of the Decembrists movement leaders, who demanded a Constitution with civil liberties and freedom for the enslaved peasants in 1825, and about their liberal ideals. We are accused of amorality, but in fact we portray and symbolically execute this amoral society, that approves slave labour and xenophobia!»
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/97416.htm
Photo archive: http://flickr.com/photos/28488145@N07/s
Cop In A Priest's Cassock
A Voina activist in a police uniform covered by an Orthodox priest’s cassock with a massive cross performed robbery in a high-class supermarket in Moscow. Accompanied by the group, Mentopop took without paying 5 large bags with delis and elite alcohol. The crime was committed with the impunity enjoyed by priests and cops in today’s Russia: he wasn’t stopped by security guards.
Voina made a statement in press: «There is no power of capital in Russia. Money strengthens the status of the illegally ruling corrupted clan. That's way we refuse to use money at all”.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/94884.htm
He fucks, you think?
In Aidan Gallery at the Winzavod contemporary art center, VOINA wrecked the public hearing on the Erofeev – Samodurov case by staging unauthorized portrait exhibition of contemporary art «prosecutors», including the State Duma deputies and Orthodox clergy, with insulting signs underneath: «He fucks, you think?» and «100% fag» (to «World Russian People’s Council» leader portrait), «Ye shit – friend or foe?» (to Patriarch portrait), «Him takes it up the arse or not?» (to President portrait).
VOINA staged a road accident-picket «Censorship SUX!» in front of the Taganskaya Prosecutor’s Office during the examination of the contemporary art critic and curator Andrei Erofeev charged with inciting hatred and religious enmity after organizing an art show «Forbidden Art – 2006».
Infront of the Prosecutor’s Office appeared a truck with two dozen of sport suit wearing VOINA activists. Reaching the middle of the driveway the truck hit a passing «Zhiguli» car. A weirdly dressed bearded man with a red loud speaker went out of it. The two vehicles blocked the rush hour traffic – amidst the road chaos the activists jumped off the truck and went under the command of the bearded man in a top hat to exercise in the driveway. While actively exercising the group loudly chanted the following slogans: «Censorship SUX», «The feds don't fuck us - we fuck the feds», «Bad ‘n stinky, ye grey cloudy face», «Orthodox folk - make love with thy art», «Fuck culture – hail the nasty judge», «Higher, higher with the black flag - the state’s our main foe», «Fuck the State!», «Eternal disgrace to oppressors of Sots Art».
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/92836.htm
Contemporary art is vomit and pus!
The performance of the VOINA art-activist A. Plutser-Sarno «Contemporary art is vomit and pus!» took place at the opening of Art Moscow Fair in Central House of Artist. It was held as a protest against artists' conformism, commercial art dominance, galleries' glamour. And also against shit, in which contemporary art, serving Russian authorities' and corrupted business' interests, is sinking.
Media-Art (photo+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/91746.htm
06.05 - 07.05.2008.
Cop Humiliation In His Own Domain
The day before President Dmitry Medvedev’s inauguration, VOINA entered police stations around the Moscow area with cakes and images of a new president. In the Yubileyny area police station, city of Korolev, group built a human pyramid in front of illegal inner cage and chanted insulting slogans:
«Hello, policemen! You are not just two-faced dirty dealing cops! We came here to humiliate you and teach you to politeness! VOINA congratulates you on May holidays and the main of them – Inauguration Day of the Russia’s President Medvezhonok. It doesn't matter that Medvezhonok is young and inexperienced – you gonna teach him to your simple tricks!» (The pet name «Medvezhonok» is derived from the root of Mr. Medvedev's surname meaning «puppy bear»).
The action finished up with mess and fight with the head of the police station, who was smeared with cake and spilled with tea.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/88685.htm
Video report. Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=796-g_NQ
26.03 – 6.04.2008. «00130Gallery», Helsinki. Taking part in the exhibition «Uncomfortable Art». Slide-show of the «Fuck for the Heir - Medved’s little Bear!» action.
Fuck for the Heir - Medved’s little Bear! / Pre-electoral Bang in the State Museum
Two days before the election of the President Dmitry Medvedev, on February 29, 2008, Voina staged a live public orgy at the State Museum of Biology in the hall «Metabolism, energy, nutrition, digestion». While five couples were copulating, Voina chief media artist Alexei Plutser-Sarno, wearing a tuxedo and a top-hat, was holding a black pre-electoral banner reading «Fuck for the Heir - Medvedev’s little Bear!». He published the action photos and video in his blog on the “silence” day, several hours before election results announcement.
By this action the group portrayed pre-electoral Russia in the language of conceptual actionism: in Russia everyone fucks each other and the little president looks at it with delight.
Voina mocked the farcical and pornographic elections in the country, as D. Medvedev just inherited the V. Putin's "presidential throne".
The blog entry by Alexei Plucer-Sarno. This post is considered the main publication on the action, the one that gained massive popularity in Russian internet in March 2008.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/55710.htm
Action «PP» (Monument for Prigov vs. Putin’s Plan). On the threshold of elections to State Duma VOINA showed to the electorate how to roll stupid sheep down the pre-election banner». Cattle was rolled downwards from the entresol of Central House of Artist.
25.08.2007 & 10.02.2008
PIR (FEAST) actions (live-installations) took place in Moscow (Russia) and Kiev (Ukraine).
On August 25 the group made a funeral repast for a great poet and artist Dmitry Prigov in Moscow Subway. At midnight VOINA laid the tables in the car of the circular line and made a complete round in a friend's memory.
On February 10 VOINA repeated FEAST live-installation - in broad daylight, simultaneously on all three lines of the Kiev Subway as a protest against city authorities, that banned the «Common space» exhibition, in which the Moscow metro action PIR video was presented.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/199938.ht
Video report on Moscow PIR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrofW3Vx
Video report on Kiev PIR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlVkCzX2
It's Time To Whip Russian Art!
The performance of the art-activist A. Plutser-Sarno «It's Time To Whip Russian Art!» near the installation «Shargorod Ghetto» was held at the opening of Art Moscow Fair. Action was a protest against authorities repressions and attempts to build a vertical chain of command for conformist contemporary art.
Media-Art (photo+video+text): http://plucer.livejournal.com/1564.h
On International Labor Day the group pelted the McDonalds café on Serpukhovskaya Square with living homeless cats. As a result the fast-food products were spoilt, hungry cats – fed.
Along with pelting cats through the barricades of hamburgers, the group activists chanted slogans: «Death to fastfood!», «Lets strike at globalization with homeless cats!», «No to global fascism!» etc. The action was interrupted by a police troop. The activists were escorted to the police station «Zamoskvorechye» together with three cats as crime evidences.
The VOINA activist statement: «In Russia there is no brave youth and little sensible riotous conduct. We decided to make an unruly action - not the illustration to some ideology. In Russia the problem is not in ideology, but in the total absence of life and willingness to uphold one's principles. This action was a fine gift to a low-paid labor force, devoid of enjoyment from contemporary radical art on that holiday. Barricades of hamburgers divide the nation, though on both sides of these barricades are people, lacking free life and normal food! Besides cats fly amazingly beautiful, rule with their tails in the flight, land cool and eat up hamburgers very fast!»