Madonna artfully protests in a New York City art gallery for SecretProjectRevolution launch

Madonna is on a mission. The singer has got a new project in motion called SecretProjectRevolution, a 17-minute short film, made with photographer and collaborator Steven Klein, that is meant to kick off her Art for Freedom campaign – an “online global initiative to further freedom of expression... to respond, address and protest persecution around the world.”

Tuesday night at Gagosian Gallery in New York City, Madonna performed an art piece in which she covered an Elliott Smith song titled “Between the Bars.” Recorded video (above) shows Madonna being dragged onto the stage by male prison guards as she sings the late-musician’s ballad to a dark, audience-filled room. The piece was meant to call attention to the prison industrial complex, a form of artful protest. Klein recently said in a statement, “It questions what we do, how we do it and how we treat others. It questions our governments, and our collective thought patterns. Think about it – the power of art can lead to peace.”

The collaborative pair is asking fans around the world to send in video, photos and other forms of media answering the question “What does freedom mean to you?”

“I want to start a movement of people,” Madonna said, “of artists, who are not worried about winning popularity contests, who are not worried about approval.”