The video shows a man and a woman having sex on a bed that was part of an art installation. While the faces of the couple are not seen, the woman resembles Zur. The artist said she wouldn’t confirm or deny that it was her in the video, saying that “the people in the video are anonymous.”
“My message was to express a protest against the strict rules in modern art centers,” Zur told the Kyiv Post over the phone. “They present themselves as platforms for the free expression of modern artists. But in fact there are very strict rules and constraints there.”
The video was filmed during an exhibition of works by the nominees for the annual PinchukArtCentre Art Prize. The exhibition ended on April 18.
The art installation in which the sex act was filmed was by Lviv artist Kinder Album, who explores human sexuality in her works. The installation consisted of a room with several items, including a bed, a TV, and a bath.
Visitors were invited to take pictures of themselves among the objects and send them to Kinder Album to post on her website and so become part of the art project. Most of the photos submitted have been of a sexual nature.
“Everyone could come and discover the edge of their intimacy during that exhibition,” said Zur. “So I decided to find out how far I could go. Sex is the highest level of human intimacy.”
Zur refused to reveal any details about the male participant of the sexual act, saying his anonymity was also a part of the “performance.”
Zur claimed that at least one employee was fired from the PinchukArtCentre after the incident, but the center denies firing anyone.
Alexandra Rashevskaya, a PinchukArtCentre spokesperson, said that the center’s rules are of the usual type for such a venue, and not “too strict” as Zur claimed.
“We have the same rules as every other European museum. Yes, we check visitors’ by Advert”> bags, but we think there is nothing wrong with this safety measure, as there is war in our country,” said Rashevskaya, adding that the staff of the art center hadn’t tried to prevent Zur’s actions.
As for the Kinder Album’s exhibition, the only rule was to not damage the exhibited objects. Technically, Zur violated it.
“After the sex act ended, the artists left a condom in an ashtray and spots (of semen) on the blanket of the bed, which was part of the exhibition,” said Rashevskaya.
The public sex as a symbol of challenging restrictions imposed by society isn’t new in modern art, or in protest movements.
In 2011, a 57-year-old Chinese artist Cheng Li had sex with a young female assistant as part of a sex art performance he entitled “Sensitive Zone” in the Beijing Gallery of Modern Art during its “Art Whore” exhibition. Cheng was arrested and sentenced to a year in a labor camp for his performance.
And in 2009, a young Ukrainian artist and journalist, Alexandr Wolodarskij, was sentenced to one year in a rehabilitation center for imitating a sex act in front of the parliament building in Kyiv.
In 2008, several members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot had public sex in a biology museum in Moscow to protest against the election of President Dmitry Medvedev, who succeeded Vladimir Putin as Russian president.
Kyiv Post staff writer Veronika Melkozerova can be reached at [email protected]
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