Due to popular demand and the global media hype that surrounded his performance art piece Art School Stole My Virginity, London-based artist Clayton Pettet will be hosting a public exhibition to display paintings, film and sculpture from the original performance, which happened today at The Orange Dot Gallery in London.
Back in October, Pettet announced that as part of the piece, he would be anally penetrated for the first time in front of an audience to “stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject.”
Last month, another London artist named John Bingham claimed to have inspired Pettet’s idea, revealing that the two had met years before and discussed the idea that would eventually spawn into an artist’s duel of sorts.
A week later, Bingham, who identifies as bisexual, announced that he would hold a similar performance on the same day as Pettet, titled Art School Stole My Sexuality, in which he would be penetrated by both a male and female in front of a live audience that included his parents. He told Queerty that he sought to “unravel the foreskin of our psychosexual limitations.”
Today, Bingham announced in a statement that his performance had been cancelled, because the “outrageous, pornographic and self-abusive performance” would not benefit his career as an artist.
Furthermore, he reveals that the basis of Pettet’s performance is flawed, as the two artists slept together ahead of their dueling performances two weeks ago. “I wan’t nothing to do with him,” Bingham tells Queerty.
“It’s porn, it’s not art, he’s abusing himself and making a fool of himself at the same time,” Bingham says. “I won’t be attending or buying any of his paintings.”
Bingham’s statement in full:
After consideration, I will no longer be going ahead with my Performance Art School Stole My Sexuality on Wednesday the 2nd of April. After meeting with tutors at UAL to discuss plans, I have been well supported and advised that it would benefit my career as an artist, not to go through with such an outrageous, pornographic and self-abusive performance. Sex and ‘losing virginity’ in public is not art. As a conceptual artist I feel that the anticipation of the performance has become more interesting than the performance itself. I will now focus on realising stronger conceptual ideas and look forward to sharing these with you in the near future. I will be showing an installation of the documents relating to the unrealised performance in May 2014.
John Bingham photos by Benjamin Whitley