Russian artists find new freedom of expression in credit crunch.
Visitors to an art gallery ensconced in a former Moscow chocolate factory were drawn into the surreal world of a sordid dinner party over the weekend. In their performance, entitled 'White Rainbow over the Table', performance artists Andrei Bartenev and Katya Bochavar led two 'teams' of white-clad performers in staging a food fight across the room.
This chaotic food fight was the brainchild of Russian performance artists Andrei Bartenev and Katya Bochavar.
Their display, inside a former Moscow chocolate factory, played with the idea of a banquet-gone-wrong, an apparent swipe at wayward consumerism.
Members of the city's art elite watched intently as two teams of combatants threw cake and yoghurt at each other.
It was a scene of chaos and comedy, with ironic echoes of waste and over-indulgence in a time of crisis.
Maria Baibakova, the gallery's project director, sees the recent credit crisis as something of a silver lining for artists.
SOUNDBITE (English) DIRECTOR OF BAIBAKOVA PROJECTS, MARIA BAIBAKOVA, SAYING:
"Artists actually enjoy times of crisis because they feel that again they can make work that doesn't need to be commercially viable. They can be more free and I find a lot of artists have this romantic idea that their creative genius needs to suffer for something great to come out, so a lot of people that are frustrated with their output I find are very happy that they'll have this chance.".
As the floor grew slippery, some performers stripped down to their underwear.
At the finale two black-clad teams appeared, looking like riot police in welding helmets and plastic masks.
They destroyed the table-like structure with blow torches and crowbars, giving the performance a darker, more sinister feel.
Having dusted flour off their designer black outfits, the audience seemed impressed by the performance, although perhaps a little hungry as well.