Sway the sails!

Sway the sails!

The new work of the St.Petersburg group of artists and activists ‘Chto Delat’ was barred from public viewing soon after its inauguration.

The new installation of the St. Petersburg-based group ‘Chto Delat’ marries old-school pirate romanticism with political activism. This hyper-active collective, whose name translates as “What is to be done”, was founded in 2003. Since then, it has managed to pursue a successful international career, while running its own independent art institution. ‘DK Rozy’ (“Rosa’s House of Culture”) offers a varied programme of creative and educational activities to the St. Petersburg public. The group often uses traditional folk crafts for their thought-provoking artworks charged with anti-capitalist messages. Their new creation ‘Blood-Tears-Slime: The Black Sails of Care’ (2020) was commissioned by Düsseldorf’s Kunstpalast museum for the exhibition ‘Time for Outrage! Art in Times of Social Anger’. A skull, naval signal flags and pirate black sails adorned with textile collages depicting three bodily fluids – blood, tears and slime – deliver a vaguely ominous warning. The message gets clearer, once the viewer realises, upon closer inspection, that the skull is a photo collage of civil uprisings in different parts of the world. However, not many visitors have had a chance to heed it, as the exhibition was closed for a month-long quarantine just three days after the opening. Could it be that the ship of the world has strayed off its course?

Time for Outrage! Art in Times of Social Anger


Düsseldorf, Germany

October 29, 2020 – January 10, 2021

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