Russian artist nails genitals to Red Square pavement in protest act
Pyotr Pavlensky nailed himself in protest against 'the police state'
Monday 11 November 2013
A Russian performance artist has stripped naked and nailed his genitals to the ground of Moscow’s Red Square in a shocking protest aimed at “the police state”.
Pyotr Pavlensky, who sat for an hour and a half outside the Lenin Mausoleum with the nail through his testicles yesterday, described his ‘Fixation’ act as “a metaphor for apathy, political indifference and [the] fatalism of modern Russian society”.
The 29-year old performer, who timed his stunt to coincide with Police Day yesterday, faced spending 15 days in custody but was freed today. It is not yet clear whether he will be re-arrested, after a judge ruled that documents had been presented incorrectly in court.
The extreme public act was recorded on video and uploaded online before leading social media platforms blocked it, according to Russian news website grani.ru.
In May, protest artist Pavlensky attracted attention by wrapping barbed wire around his naked body outside St Petersburg’s parliament, a symbol for human existence inside a “repressive legal system”.
The artist wrapped himself in barbed wire during a protest in May In July 2012 he sewed his lips together and stood outside St Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral in support of the jailed Pussy Riot protesters.
Since President Vladmir Putin’s re-election in March last year, critics have accused him of tackling dissent with an iron fist.
A statement released by Pavlensky read: "As the government turns the country into one big prison, stealing from the people and using the money to grow and enrich the police apparatus and other repressive structures, society is allowing this, and forgetting its numerical advantage, is bringing the triumph of the police state closer by its inaction."
Figures from the Russian arts world praised his recent act, with one calling it “a manifesto of powerlessness”.
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 contestants: Meet Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney
Kate Bush: Previously unseen photographs reveal new side to comeback star
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict