Russian Art Group Voina Nominated For Huge Endowment

A Russian guerrilla art group called Voina (which means “War” in Russian) has been nominated for a state-sponsored prize, even as two members are incarcerated awaiting trial for their part in an “art” project in which police cars were flipped over.

But it wasn’t the flipping of the cop cars that got Voina nominated for the Innovations Prize from the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Center for Modern Art. It was their project to erect a 65-meter male organ, as illustrated in the above video — which some helpful soul has set to The Dance of the Prince & the Sugar Plum Fairy. Here’s the short version, from

Voina was nominated for a piece of performance art that saw a 65 meter phallus painted on a bridge opposite the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Services (FSB), the heir to the KGB. The penis was painted at night and flipped up in front of the building – and stunned officers – when the bridge was raised.

British artist Banksy recently donated over $120,000 to the group, which also famously staged an orgy in a Moscow museum to mark President Dmitry Medvedev’s 2008 inauguration. The group has also thrown live cats at McDonald’s workers to “relieve” the tedium of the working-day.

The group say they are dedicated to the “destruction of outdated repressive-patriarchal socio-political symbols and ideologies.”


Yes, that does say “started an orgy in the Moscow Museum.”

The penis prank was committed in June, 2010, and made it all the way to western blogs like Animal New York and Laughing Squid — and that, my friends, is a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig penis. Animal New York even has information about how the stunt was performed.

As for the police cars, the trial of the two accused is on February 28. Animal New York related that event, too, and Global Post has an article about it. There are some photos of the event on Wonder How To, though the video is no longer accessible.

The Innovations Award carries an award of a quarter-million rubles, which is about US$8,500.

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