Elena Kovylina (b.1971) is one of the most important performance Russian artists, though she uses a range of media including video, film, installation. Her first performances took place in the late 1990s, when she was testing the strength of her body - as well as the emotions of her audience. Kovylina does not shy away from confrontation. Indeed, many of her actions emphasize social critique in harsh or satirical ways. Her tahgets are conceptions of indentity and Russia's political and social structures.
Kovylina studied at the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow (1993-95), the F+F School for Art and Media Design in Zurich (1996-98), and the Universitat der Kunste Berlin, where she studied under the supervision of Rebecca Horn (2001-03). Elena Kovylina opened her school of performance Pyrfyr, which was the first one in Russia. Lives and works in Moscow.