We continue our series of interviews with artists represented at the ART RIOT: POST-SOVIET ACTIONISM running at the Saatchi Gallery.

Blue Noses (Alexander Shaburov and Vyacheslav Mizin) are notorious for their “hooligan improvisations”. Their shows  are “a symbiosis of prefab concepts and pure improvisation. By using humor and the grotesque, the artists mimic all the trends of the high art of the last century, from suprematism to radical performance”,  —  sums up the brief note on the Garage Museum website.

The artists exhibited at 50th and 51st Venice Biennale, 1st and 3rd Moscow Biennale,  at the Tate and Whitechapel Gallery. They were nominated for the Kandinsky Prize in 2008 and in 2007 they acted as masters of ceremonies at the Kandinsky Prize, performing onstage their scandalous work  Kissing Policemen (from An Epoch of Clemency series).

The origin of their name is also comical, as it was a result of their 1999 experiment conducted in Novosibirsk. With their friends they held an extremist art -festival in a bomb-shelter. On the eve of the New Year they invited artists from various countries and staged a future technogenic catastrophe, therefore locking themselves up in the bomb shelter — all without electronic devices, women and alcohol. The first day they described as curious, but on the second day they were all bored stiff. Still, it turned out that one of the artists had broken the rules and smuggled a video camera with him. To entertain themselves, the artists began to shoot short video films, parodying genres of contemporary art. To emphacise that it was only a parody, they put on blue clownish noses made from the blue caps on their drinking water bottles.  When Misin and Shaburov’s short video was demonstrated in Moscow,  it was instantly well-received with laughter and approval. By association,  the viewers began to consider the duo an art collective and  instantly dubbed them Blue Noses.

There is a grain of truth in every joke, — says a popular adage, which turns surprisingly appropriate throughout our interview with Blue Noses. They are fooling around and teasing while also sharing some important thoughts, so you are left wondering, how do they manage to be so serious while being so unserious?