Russia’s most famous performance artist will disclose the details behind his legendary man-dog alias, as well as other pieces—in conversation with Andrey Kovalev.
Oleg Kulik (b. 1961) began his career as the artistic director of Regina Gallery, one of Moscow’s first private art galleries. In the early 1990s, he instigated some of the most talked about curatorial projects, involving Andrey Monastyrsky, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Yuri Leiderman and other artists, including Anatoly Osmolovsky’s show Leopards Are Bursting into the Temple (1992), featuring real animals walking across the gallery space. The most provocative of all, however, was Kulik’s own initiative, a collaboration with the Nikolay art group, which saw a butcher slaughter a pig into pieces which were given away as “presents” to the shocked audience. His most well-known performance act, meanwhile, was the man-dog which saw the naked artist wearing a collar with a lead crawl down the streets of Moscow, and later, Zurich, Stockholm and Rotterdam. He also impersonated a cow and birds on several occasions, and more recently, has been reading the Bible in a fish bowl at the opening of his solo exhibition at Regina London (Deep into Russia, 2012). A key figure in the history of Russian performance of the 1990s, Oleg Kulik has created other works in a variety of mediums. He took part in the Venice Biennale and Manifesta and continues to exhibit extensively. He lives and works in Moscow.