The Explosive Potential of Artistic Activism: Factors – Functions – Response




artistic activism, actionism, intermediality, protest culture, popular culture, performance


This article considers the change in artistic means in the digital globalised world and the development of art actionism as a new inter-genre. The author provides an overview and comparison of the key actions of protest events in Russia, also focusing on some South Slavic practices. Additionally, the article analyses incentive impulses, ways of realisation, and the social response to the most impressive art actions. The correlation of the aesthetic and utilitarian component of events is the main goal of the research, as well as the assessment of their political potential. The paper uses cultural, semiotic, and interdisciplinary methods trying to clarify the phenomenon of protest culture, the role of urban space in it, and the development of protest techniques. The author mainly refers to electronic resources containing materials of the most prominent art activists. The methodological basis of the study is research on the culture of protest by А. Epstein, A. Etkind, A. Rosenholm, Irina Savkina, and others. The programmes of art group leaders help shed light on the topic. There are two basic directions of subversive actions of art actionism within Slavic cultures: emancipatory and traditional. The author concludes that their character correlates with the official ideological policy of the state and focuses on the promotion of the artist’s opinion. The dynamism of protest practices is characterised by intermediality and liminality, and their reliance on popular culture makes the path from the sender to a wide audience the shortest. As a result of the analysis of the connection with traditional left revolutionary and artistic practices, it is concluded that art activism intensively uses the memory of the greatest revolutionary events as an artistic decoration and an ideological means of encouraging subversion. The indissolubility of the life and art of art activists gives rise to a new type of artistic creation of one’s own life in the history of Russian culture. The ideological goals of the analysed direction contribute to democratic changes and the conquest of human freedoms.

Author Biography

Tatjana Jovovic

PhD, Dean of Faculty of Philology, University of Montenegro.

Danilo Bojovic Str., 81400, Niksic, Montenegro.

ORCID 0000-0003-2868-9527


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How to Cite

Jovovic, T. (2021). The Explosive Potential of Artistic Activism: Factors – Functions – Response. Quaestio Rossica, 9(2), 471–486.



Problema voluminis