Wed, February 04, 2009
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Artists stage food fight

2009-02-04 10:34:53 GMT2009-02-04 18:34:53 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

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.


"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.

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