In the thankfully blurred out video above (NSFW version here — it’s graphic and will hurt your feelings) Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky took a very uncomfortable seat to take a stand against what he described as Russian society’s development into a “police state.”
Hundreds of tourists to Moscow’s Red Square got an eyeful of political dissent when the naked 29-year-old St. Petersburg-based artist nailed his scrotum to a cobblestone outside Lenin’s Mausoleum. In a statement released to grani.ru (via The Mirror) leading up to the performance, Pavlensky explained his testicular gesture:
“A naked artist, looking at his balls nailed to the Kremlin pavement, is a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference, and fatalism of contemporary Russian society.”
Of course, the naked artist has a point. Back in June, the Russian government unanimously passed a federal anti-gay propaganda law — banning the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relationships” in the presence of children — followed by a law (also passed unanimously) banning adoptions from foreign same-sex couples.
After his latest stunt, Pavlensky was treated at a Moscow clinic and taken to a police station.
No stranger to suffering for his art, Pavlensky sewed his lips shut in 2011 to raise awareness of political rockers Pussy Riot, who were jailed for staging a protest performance in a Moscow cathedral; Pavlensky was later arrested for wrapping his naked body in barbed wire outside a government building in St. Petersburg.
h/t: The Daily Mirror