Protester Nails His Testicles to Red Square

Pyotr Pavlensky makes a painful statement about Russian apathy

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 11, 2013 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Never let it be said that Pyotr Pavlensky isn't committed to his work. The 29-year-old Russian artist stripped naked and then nailed his scrotum to the cobblestone of Moscow's Red Square yesterday afternoon, just outside of the Lenin Mausoleum, the BBC reports. He sat that way for an hour and a half before police took him to the hospital. He faces up to 15 days in jail, on charges including "explicit contempt for society accompanied by swearing in public," and "humiliation," according to RT. Pavlensky called the piece "Fixation," and described it this way:

  • "It's not a bureaucratic mess that deprives society of its ability to act, but fixation on our own defeats and losses that nails us to the Kremlin's pavement stronger and stronger, creating an army of apathetic idols out of people."
Pavlensky is something of a glutton for physical punishment. His previous works have included sewing his lips together in solidarity with Pussy Riot, and wrapping himself in barbed wire outside of Moscow's parliament.

Pyotr Pavlensky is seen in the Red Square during his performance in this YouTube screenshot.
Pyotr Pavlensky is seen in the Red Square during his performance in this YouTube screenshot.   (YouTube/WorldMediaClips)
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Police intervene to end Pavlensky's display.   (YouTube)

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