Anna Jermolaewa

„Political Extras“
video installation, HD, 13 min, 2015


Political Extras was a demonstration organised by Anna Jermolaewa, for which she paid the participants. Interested people can register for paid demonstrations via the Russian website She recruited participants via this website. Through this site, she recruited around 100 demonstrators in 2015, who demonstrated with their banners both against and for the 6th Biennial in Moscow. In return for their participation, they received a small fee - similar to the handling of recent political demonstrations in Russia. Thus, by selling their political bodies for money, the protesters became mere symbols of media-bought manipulation in the shape of an actual form of democratic protest.

On the banners are statements like:

"Art is the avant-garde of society"
"Make Biennale, not War!"
"Can you draw at all?"
"Modern art causes alcoholism"
"The Biennale unites people"
"Biennials of all countries unite"
"Fuck the Biennale"
"Down with rotten Western culture"
"Biennial art is crap and piss"
"What is the relationship between contemporary art and Christianity? Hate or dialogue?"
"God save the Biennale"


Anna Jermolaewa was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, and lives in Vienna. She studied art history at the University of Vienna and new media with Peter Kogler at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Between 2005 and 2011, she was a professor of media art at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe. Since 2011 she has been Professor of Experimental Media at the Kunstuniversität Linz.

She has had solo exhibitions of her work at Magazin4, Bregenz (2020), Museum of the History of Photography, St. Petersburg (2017), Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2015), the Victoria Art Gallery, Samara (2013); Camera Austria, Graz (2012); Kunsthalle Krems (2012); XL Gallery Moscow (2008) and Museum Moderner Kunst, Passau (2004), among others. Anna Jermolaewa has also participated in various biennials in Moscow, Kiev, Berlin, Linz, Prague and Venice.

Her works have been awarded, among others, the Prize of the City of Vienna and the Austrian Art Prize for Visual Arts. Her works can be found in many collections worldwide, such as the Stedelijk Museum, the Flick Collection, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Kunsthaus Brengenz.