Spoonfed London: “What would your reaction be if this happened? You go to an art lecture at the ICA, sit down and listen to each member of the panel speak, occasionally taking notes. Periodically they are interrupted by a 50-year old man with a thick Russian accent saying ‘Bullshit, this is not shocking.’ Then, this man stands up and walks to the front of the room (it’s not far – he’s sitting on the front row). He undoes his belt, drops his trousers and takes a shit into his own hand. He does his trousers and belt up, walks up to the man in the centre of the panel and deposits the shit in his glass. He then sits back down, a slight look of triumph on his face.
The man in question is Russian performance artist Alexander Brener and he’s accompanied this evening by long-time artistic collaborator Barbara Schurz. Brener has a history of doing odd deeds in the name of art: he’s defecated in front of a Van Gogh painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, had sex in public and, most famously, sprayed a green dollar sign on Kazimir Malevich’s painting Suprematisme. For this latter act, Brener spent several years in jail.
The discussion is about extreme curating, strategies of shock, and the relationship between art and violence. The panel consists of the chair, Dr Dorothée Brill, lecturer and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, ’60s performance artist Stuart Brisley, curators Lauren Wright and Yasmin Canvin, political artist/novelist Stewart Home, and notorious corgi-eater Mark McGowan.”