Performativity of Death in Post-Soviet Russia: The Party of the Dead's growing membership
Our research group AGITATSIA unites researchers connected with post-Soviet history (from Belarus/Germany, Russia, USA/Estonia and France), and with interest in collectivity and multidisciplinary approach. Our areas of study include philosophy, cultural studies, art criticism, linguistics, artistic performative activity, sociology; we are united by an interest in the most radical line in contemporary Russian art, which is actionism and political performance.
We believe that the theme of performativity of death brings together two important lines of an involved, independent art—death and performance—which constitute the “burning and smouldering” problems of the contemporary cultural process in Russia. The COVID-19 pandemic became a pretext for artists and activists to resurrect the problem of death and methods of working with it. Now after the beginning of full-scale Russian military invasion throughout the whole territory of Ukraine it became clear that artists anticipated reality in many ways. The question of death in Russia is haunted by a question of justice—both philosophically and in relation to the perceived failures of the system of law. The necro-performances of the collective Party of the Dead from Saint-Petersburg manifest the importance of performance as a ritual of mourning in days of pandemic and war.
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