Monastyrski's groundbreaking engagement with participatory art in the context of socialist Russia laid the scene for decades of Russian performance art that followed. His influence in Russia cannot be overemphasised and, while his work resonates internationally, there are parallels as well as important differences between his artistic practice and those that characterise Western performance art.
To explore this difference is to probe the underlying ethos of Monastyrski's performances, rooted in the Collective Actions' necessary mediation of the socialist reality against which they operated. These themes are pondered and investigated through specially commissioned essays written by the foremost authorities on the subject as well as by Monastyrski himself.
Edited by Boris Groys, curator of Monastyrski's exhibition in the Russian Pavilion at the 54th Biennale di Venezia, Empty Zones proudly presents the work of Andrei Monastyrski and manifests its continuing relevance in the contemporary context.