MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine, emblematic of the Cold War, posits mutual annihilation as a deterrent to nuclear war. This principle inflicts a profound emotional toll, symbolizing humanity in perpetual precarity. Pussy Riot’s MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) illuminates this existential dilemma, juxtaposing the innocence of a girl warrior against Goliath, and challenges the 21st century to seek a more sustainable and harmonious global ethos, that transcend the doctrine of mutual destruction.

Conceptual artist and activist Nadya Tolokonnikova is the creator of Pussy Riot, a global feminist protest art movement. Pussy Riot stands for gender fluidity, inclusivity, matriarchy, love, laughter, decentralization, anarchy and anti-authoritarianism.

Born in Siberia, Tolokonnikova studied philosophy in Moscow, holds an honorary doctorate from RISD, and authored the book Read and Riot: Pussy Riot’s Guide to Activism. She is the co-founder of independent news service Mediazona, Unicorn DAO; has spoken before the US Congress, British Parliament, European Parliament; appeared as herself on season 3 of House of Cards; performed at Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition; created an installation at [CONTAINER], appeared on the cover of Time magazine as women of the year, and was imprisoned in Russia for 2 years following an anti-Putin performance. Tolokonnikova’s works are included in museum collections internationally, and she is represented by Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe.

Mutually Assured Destruction,
by Nadya Tolokonnikova/Pussy Riot, image courtesy Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe

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Organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes
in collaboration with ICAN

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is an exhibition of posters that call for universal nuclear disarmament. Each made by a different artist, the group comprises historical and newly
commissioned works that detail a cultural history of disarmament movements and evidence the diversity of ways in which artists have expressed the need to ban the bomb. ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is designed for maximum agility and economic effectiveness, relying on a black and white palette both for its impact and ease o reproduction. We asked artists to ensure their works can exist on a variety of supports, ephemera such as posters, postcards, billboards, banners, flags, t-shirts and social media posts, as we aspire to achieve the widest possible circulation of this message.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB presents the works of foundational conceptual artists Art & Language; pop hero, Keith Haring; legendary feminists, Guerrilla Girls; performance artists Regina José Galindo and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, as well
as eminent sculptors Magdalena Abakanowicz and Isamu Noguchi. It also features indelible photographs by Robert Del Tredici and Ken Domon alongside protest graphics from social movements such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), founded in 1958 and still active; the epic Peace Squadron and Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms (VAANA); and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Additionally, it examines how stories are told, from the theater of Bread and Puppet to films like Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Marguerite Duras / Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, to an unexpected survey of literature, from an early
anticipation of an atomic bomb, first envisioned by H.G. Wells in 1918, to the viscera spoken word poetry of Jayne Cortez.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB, organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is presented on the occasion of the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held at the United Nations in 2023.

To organize en exhibition of ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB please contact curatorial assistant Verana Codina.

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