Oleg Mavromatti


Oleg Mavromatti is a Russian born artist and filmmaker who in 1995 established the film union SUPERNOVA - fortress of Moscow radical cinema. Some SUPERNBOVA  films like “The Green Elephant” (1999) and “Bastards” (2000) became cult movies at that time and a decade later they inspired the appearance of Internet communities which create and share fan memes based on these films daily. Mavromatti is also a prominent representative of radical performance art scene in 1990s Moscow.

He has been legally prosecuted for his critical performance art and film work (such as the famous performance “Do Not believe Your Eyes”, 2000, part of his film “Oil on Canvas”, 2000. Mavromatti left the country in 2000 and since then he lives in Bulgaria and New York, where he continues making films and art. His work has been featured in numerous publications in monographs such as “Russian Actionism 1990-2000” and art journals like “Art in America.” He has been also a member of legendary Moscow performance art groups from the 1990s like “Expropriation of the Territory of Art” and NECEZIUDIK, Absolute Love Sect.

In Bulgaria, together with artist and filmmaker Boryana Rossa he established international art collective ULTRAFUTURO, which focuses on the social, political and ethical impacts of technology on contemporary society. Works by the group have been shown at places such as Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Akademie der Kuntse, Berlin; Exit Art, New York; Biennial for Electronic Art, Perth (BEAP).


Director: Semiconductor (2018); Monkey Ostrich and Grave (2017); No Place for Fools (2014); Blind Spot (2007), ULTRAFUTURO Manifest (2005), The Rats are Leaving the Shop (2002), The Biggest Meatball in the World (2001), Bastards (2000), The Secret Aesthetic of the Martian Spies, 1,2, 3. (1997-1999).

Producer: Zeleniy slonik / The Green Elephant (1999), Kokki begustiy doctor / Кokki the Running Doctor (1998). 


… (T)hroughout all these years, Mavromatti has been concverned about the status of art in society and what this status holds. Perhaps, this concern (even more so than the identification of the work of art with the life and the body of the author) is what consolidates the depth of his art. This concern also consolidates the difference between Mavromatti and his no-less outstanding colleagues - Alexander Brenner, Oleg Kulik, Anatoly Osmolovski. In the 1990s, when words have been spoken faster than the speaker's brain could process, Mavromatti resists with all his strength this empty verbalism (Andrey Kovalev), profanizing and emptying the substance of art. Due to this is the existence of actions such as the "Minute of Silence" by the Absolute Love Sect, in which in the studio of Radio Echo Moscow, Mavromatti and Emperor WAWA pierce their tongues with needles, or the “Mouth Stitching" made at the Central House of Artists (I will note that semantically this piece is a more complicated work than Petr Pavlensky's replica he made many years later, with which he self-proclaimed himself an actionist).  

- Evgeniy Maizel (Art of Cinema, 1 / 2/ 2018)


Oleg Mavromatti

Do Not Believe Your Eyes!, 2000.



Oleg Mavromatti

Ally / Foe, 2010.



  • Photographer: Boryana Rossa
  • Material: Performance live streamed on Internet

  • Property of: Oleg Mavromatti
  • Description: The artist is attached to an electric chair and translates live on the internet four hours a day over a week.
    Viewers must decide by online voting whether he is guilty or not of "insulting the religious feelings of Orthodox believers" through his performance "Do not Believe Your Eyes!" 2000. For this, they have a one week deadline. Every day the votes are counted and"guilty" votes are more than "innocent" votes, the artist themself releases electricity through his body. Throwout the week the electrical potential is increasing every day. As a result voices "guilty" never had exceed votes "innocent." A total of 7,000 people voted, 3000 votes - guilty and 4000 - innocent.
    Video: Kalin Serapionov
  • Copyright: Oleg Mavromatti
  • References: https://vimeo.com/manage/87043571/general

Oleg Mavromatti

No Place for Fools, 2012.



  • Sizes: 82 min

  • Property of: Олег Мавроматти
  • Description: Experimental documentary film. Award for best documentary at festival "Dvizenie:" Omsk, Russia. Premiered at Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2015.

    Sergey Astahov is a gay man converted by Church and state propaganda into an orthodox pro-Putin activist. Composed of terrifying images from Astahov's blog, this documentary by contemporary artist Oleg Mavromatti is the most radical insight into today's Russia and its ideological clashes.
    'We must not give away our children to foreigners and homosexuals,' says Sergej Astahov in the documentary dedicated to him, No Place for Fools. A few months prior to this pronouncement, Astahov himself was openly gay.
    The documentary is comprised of clips placed by Astahov on his blog. We see him praising modern Moscow shopping malls, eulogising on the pleasures of gay porn and drawing up all manner of lists - from his favourite songs to his illnesses. He considers his homosexuality one of the latter.
    It gradually becomes clear, reading between the lines, that Astahov has been admitted to a psychiatric clinic to ‘cure’ him of this ‘disease’. We also see a video in which he marries a woman, subsequently morphing into a patriotic, Orthodox Christian Russian - a Putin supporter who sometimes relapses into his old self: ‘I love men.’ A documentary that pointedly highlights the insurmountable, confusing ideological changes taking place in contemporary Russia.
    Director: Oleg Mavromatti
    Producers: Boryana Rossa (SUPERNOVA) and Andrey Silvestrov (Cine Fantom)
    Script: Oleg Mavromatti
    Editing: Oleg Mavromatti and Boryana Rossa
    Sound: Tihon Pendyrin
    Idea by: Oleg Mavromatti and PO98
    English translation: Boryana Rossa, Misha Rabinovic

    Mavromatti’s film--exactly like “Leviathan” by Andrey Zvyagintsev and “The Fool” by Yuri Bykov --is a comprehensive allegorical assessment of contemporary Russia, in the exact same manner reasoned, painful and hopeless.
    However there are also important differences. “Leviathan” concludes the desperate state of things through revealing the double morale, established on all levels in contemporary Russia. “The Fool” brings attention to the scandalous fact that the evil in our country is victorious, because it actually deeply satisfies most of our citizens who are something like “the members” of the organized criminal mob called “The Russian Federation.” Mavromatti is focused on the formation of our average citizens and their fascism, hurray-patriotism, illiteracy and narcissism, through the media, in which they are drowned and from which they receive their fairy, and once more co(s)mical absurd ideas.
    Evgeniy Maysel, “Oleg Mavromatti: Rewinding is a Resurrection of the Dead.” The Art of Cinema, May, 2015, #5.; http://kinoart.ru/archive/2015/05/oleg-mavromatti-prokruchivanie-nazad-eto-voskreshenie-mertvykh
  • Copyright: Oleg Mavromatti
  • References: https://olegmavromatti.com/sample-page/

Monkey Ostrich and Grave

Monkey Ostrich and Grave, 2017.



  • Sizes: 85 min

  • Property of: Oleg Mavromatti
  • Description: Mocumentary. The Jury Award for the Best Documentary Film at ArtDocFest, Moscow, 2017. Co-production of Russia, Belorussia, USA and Israel.

    Will the life of the video blogger Gorin of Lugansk change after he encounters a UFO?

    This is the story of the video blogger Genadi Gorin of Lugansk (the capital of the new republic, which appeared during the Russian/Ukrainian war in 2014), whose life floats parallel to the horrific reality of the unfinished war.

    This is a film about the people, who live in places of endless wars – wars, forgotten by everybody: the world news, the politicians, and the human rights organizations. Many of them have no other option but to continue living together with these wars, desensitized to the destruction around them and constantly burying their own suffering in the sub-conscious. This hidden pain, one can’t get rid of, sublimates in intimate revelations to the online audience and in fantasies about revenge. Gorin expresses this in variety of art genres – from comedy to horror, from drawings to magic. His story is thick of surprising tales and events that merge reality and dream.

    Director: Oleg Mavromatti
    Starring: Viktor Vin4 Lebedev
    Script: Oleg Mavromatti
    Cast: Anna Den, Egor Schimanko
    Camera: Viktor Vin4 Lebedev
    Editing: Oleg Mavromatti, Boryana Rossa
    Based on the original YouTube blog by Genadi Gorin
    Producers: Boryana Rossa, Andrey Silvestrov
    Translation consultant: Peter Lee

    Besides the strong anti-war message, this film is a reflection of the relatively new vlogging
    culture. The way the film has been shot and edited demonstrates what vlogging and social media can offer not only as a style of communication but also as an access to marginalized voices; an insight into dangerous places, including the human mind.
    This film should be watched as a story that unfolds from a vlog entries playlist. Differently to “No Place for Fools” - the first film made following the post-Cinema Manifesto - “Monkey Ostrich and Grave” did not change the rhythm of vlogging; it did not transform it into a “more cinematic” one.
    It is not true that contemporary digital culture and social media made people having a short attention span. If we look at all these vlog entries and how many people are watching them in full, and participating actively in the online community, we will find that a lot of people are actually really watching long, unedited speeches, real life happenings in front of the camera, visible on YouTube but mostly on websites like smotri.com. Online viewers are looking for real time unedited experience. This is what Mavromatti is sensing and appropriating as a mode of expression, as a new phenomenon of human communication, a new way of seeing and expression the world.
    The most amazing quality of this work is that Mavromatti creates the real feeling of an online video journal, but at the same time he is able to tell a story with a beginning, culmination and an end and to develop a multi-layered character. I think this is because Mavromatti has always been looking for realism, even naturalism in his work, which is the reason he insists working with unprofessional actors and artists. At the same time, however, he has been looking for cinematic stories, for strong and complicated characters in real life. The magic happens when the naturalist fictional performance meets the vivid stories of the reality, sometimes much harder to believe than any fantasy.
    Boryana Rossa
  • Copyright: Oleg Mavromatti
  • References: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/mar/05/newcastle-gateshead-av-festival-meanwhile-what-about-socialism-art-video-film-george-orwell

Oleg Mavromatti

Pussy-smasher, 2012.



  • Material: aquarel pencils, ink, black tea, paper
  • Width: 22.00 cm    Height: 29.00 cm    Depth: cm   

  • Property of: Oleg Mavromatti
  • Description: The drawing series Pussysmasher from a different angle
    deal with the relation between pop-culture characters
    and the standard of gender behaviour created by social
    attitudes. The aesthetics is half-childish, but at a closer
    look the contents is confusing and funny. With this
    choice of contrasts the artist poses questions about
    our early upbringing and the extent to which it defines
    our thinking as adults. The drawings are part of series
    where the artist mixes contemporary social and political
    subjects with urban and internet folklore.
  • Copyright: Oleg Mavromatti
  • References: https://sofiaqueerforum.org/media/SQF_2012_Online_Edition.pdf