Alexander Brener

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Alexander Brener
EducationKazakh National Pedagogic University (named after Abay)
Known forPerformance art, literature art-activism
MovementMoscow Actionism, Neoism, Actionism

Alexander Davidovich Brener (Russian: Александр Бренер) (born 1957, in Alma-Ata, Kazak ASSR, Soviet Union), is a Russian-Jewish performance artist and a self-described political activist. He is considered one of the main figures of Moscow Actionism along with Oleg Kulik.[citation needed]


Brener's performances of note include defecating in front of a painting by Vincent van Gogh at the Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, having sex in front of the Monument to Alexander Pushkin (Rostov-on-Don), and vandalizing art works by other artists.[1]

He was jailed in 1997 for painting a green dollar sign on Kazimir Malevich's painting Suprematisme.[2] In the court case Brener said in his defense:

The cross is a symbol of suffering, the dollar sign a symbol of trade and merchandise. On humanitarian grounds are the ideas of Jesus Christ of higher significance than those of the money. What I did was not against the painting. I view my act as a dialogue with Malevich.

Giancarlo Politi, the editor of Flash Art, resolutely defended Brener from the pages of his magazine, stirring controversy and campaigning for his acquittal.[3] Brener was sentenced to five months in prison, where he wrote the essay Obossani Pistolet. In the text he explains his beliefs and summarizes his actions. In 2000 Brener disrupted the press conference of Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana by spraying slogans on the presentation screen and handing out leaflets stating: "Demolish neo-liberalist multicultural art system now!" Bodyguards came and dragged Brener out of the hall. He was later arrested by Slovenian secret police in the streets. In 2003 Brener vandalized the work of Swiss-Italian artist Gianni Motti during the opening of Motti's exhibition "Turnover" at Artra Gallery in Milan.

Brener co-wrote the books Bukaka spat Here, Tattoos auf Gefängnissen, Anti Technologies of Resistance and The Art of Destruction together with Austrian artist Barbara Schurz.

Brener is mentioned in passing in Stewart Home's 2007 novel Memphis Underground.

An artwork by the art collective IOCOSE is dedicated to Brener.[4]


  • Furzende Völker (2000, ISBN 3-85266-130-7)
  • Tattoos auf Gefängnissen (2001, ISBN 3-85266-157-9)
  • Bukaka Spat Here (2001, Austria, ISBN 3-9501567-1-2; 2002, UK, ISBN 0-9520274-4-5)
  • The Art of Destruction (2005, Austria)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fineman, Mia (2004-12-12). "Art Attacks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  2. ^ The Independent - Art Attacks
  3. ^
  4. ^ "RebelArt - Surfing with Alexander Brener". Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2012-02-21.

External links[edit]