Andrey Kuzkin: I went to the prison like I was going to work

21 July, 2021

Russian Art Focus spoke with Andrey Kuzkin, Russian sculptor and performance artist who delivers tragic truths about the human condition through two mediums that are always at hand: his own body and rye bread.

In the late 2000s, Andrey Kuzkin burst onto the Russian art scene with radical performances on a par with the self-destructive endeavours of the Viennese Actionists or Marina Abramovic’s: he walked in circles in slowly hardening concrete for four hours, until his feet were nearly trapped; or, seated on a gallery floor, he cut the letters “Что это?” (“What is this?”) with a knife on his bare chest. His sculptures are in line with his performances: in 2019, he unveiled an installation consisting of over 1,000 bread figurines of naked supplicants, praying on their knees, complemented by four life-sized human heads covered in his own blood.

In this interview, Kuzkin shares ideas behind his radical works and the fascination with nature, which transformed itself into an on-going series of performances called ‘Natural phenomena’.

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