Russian artist nails genitals to Red Square pavement in protest act.

This guy either has immense strength of conviction or is totally mad.  He uses his body to symbolise the repression he feels is endemic in Russia today.  I wonder what he would have done in Stalin’s time.  We probably wouldn’t even have known about such acts then and he would have been straight to a gulag or the salt mines.  Perhaps this country needs a Pyotr Pavlensky nailed by his genitals outside Number 10 in protest at bedroom tax, energy profiteers, bankers’ bonuses, surveillance etc etc.  Every country has its own form of repression.pyotr pavlensky


Manifesto of Powerlessness

I am Pyotr Pavlensky.
Some say I’m a masochist
but I say I’m an activist,
I am an artist, I perform
and my art is an act of protest.

I am Pyotr Pavlensky.
I nailed my balls to the ground
outside the Lenin Mausoleum –
a ‘Fixation’ act for Police Day,
my installation art of apathy,
the fatalism of society.

I am Pyotr Pavlensky.
I wrapped my naked body in barbed wire
outside St Petersburg parliament.
I was the human
inside the repression.

I am Pyotr Pavlensky.
I sewed my lips together
supporting Pussy Riot.
I was quiet then
in this country shorn of speech,
submissive, cowered, subdued,
subjugated yet empowered through my art.

I am Pyotr Pavlensky.
My living art is a people in pain.
My imagery screams agony.
My body my manifesto of powerlessness.


10th November 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “Russian artist nails genitals to Red Square pavement in protest act.”  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


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