okładka Understanding the Unfathomable The political art of Petr Pavlenskii seen from socio-cultural viewpoint książka | Sylwia Hlebowicz

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Understanding the Unfathomable The political art of Petr Pavlenskii seen from socio-cultural viewpoint Sylwia Hlebowicz książka

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The cover image presents the painting The Boyar Morozova (1887) by Vasily Surikov. The scene pressents a noblewoman - Feodisiya Morozova, being shackled and sent to exile to a monastery in Borovosk. There she was made to die from starvation. Morozova was arrested for her affiliation with a so-called Old Believer movement, which opposed the reforms in the State Church. However, Tsar Alexey did support the changes in the Russian Church, so the opposition expressed by a member of the aristocracy was inexcusable. And therefore punished. Morozova raises her hand in a gesture of protest, alluding also to an Old Believer`s cross sign with two fingers. Only the beggar is not afraid to respond to it. He is a holy fool - the sole person who could speak out freely.

It would be erroneous to assume that the painting depicts just a historical event. It remains amazingly timely these days. Although implemented in the secular realm, Pavlensky`s actions resemble the deeds of iurodivyie (holy fools). He was one of the few artists who dared to raise their hand in the act of protrst in the period when nobody expected that Putin`s regime would reach such an unprecedented scale. Whether in the 19 th c. or the 21 st. c, Russia has remained a country where the right to express opposing views is restricted to saints or fools.

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Understanding the Unfathomable The political art of Petr Pavlenskii seen from socio-cultural viewpoint

Understanding the Unfathomable The political art of Petr Pavlenskii seen from socio-cultural viewpoint

Sylwia Hlebowicz,

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