(Artyom Loskutov and Maria Kiselyova, organisers)are rallies whose participants shout and carry absurdist slogans, like “Wear a mustache!”. Starting in their native Novosibirsk, Monstrations have become a popular ‘genre’, combining the habitus of political activism with legally harmless slogans, confusing the authorities.
Artyom Loskutov and Maria Kiselyova are mostly famous for organizing Monstrations – annual rallies whose participants carry absurdist banners like “Tanya, don’t cry!” or “Somehow like this” in their home town of Novosibirsk. These “happenings” are emblematic of a new trend in Russian post-Soviet art: combining political statements with artistic sensibilities, and often blurring the line between the two. In 2009 inspired by Monstrations agents of the Anti-extremism center planted 11 grams of marijuana on Loskutov, starting his rich criminal history. In March 2012 Kiseleva and Loskutov put images of a woman in balaklava with a baby on her lap, made by Kiseleva and based on the famous orthodox icon, into several street billboards. The “icon” came complete with a stylized inscription in support of the Pussy Riot group. The artist was fined for his action, the court considered the image to be insulting religious feelings of “all orthodox and catholic christians”.