Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square in Moscow yesterday in protest of the Russian government. The shock artist sat in the square naked, with his knees part, and pushed a nail which appeared to be about 10 inches long, through the front of his scrotum, much to the horror of dozens of tourists passing by.
Pavlensky posted a written statement on the grani.ru website explaining that his action was “…a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society”.
A police officer eventually covered up Pavlensky with what appeared to be a white blanket or sheet, before taking the artist to a medical clinic. He was later arrested and faces up to 15 days in prison for hooliganism.
A video of the event has been circulating the Internet since and graphically depicts the scrotal puncture. Throughout the performance, Pavlensky remained composed and there was no visible blood shed.
Pavlensky is no stranger to pain or public displays of self-mutilation. In July of last year, he sewed up his lips to protest the arrest of two members of the feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot.
In May, he wrapped himself up in a barbed wire cocoon in front of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. He called the piece ‘Carcass’ and he remained curled up in the barbed nest until the police cut him out with garden clippers.
The 29-year-old artist from St. Petersburg studied mural art at the St. Petersburg Art and Industry Academy.
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