Some call their Congressman. Some email or even use snail mail to contact politicians. Some assemble and picket in order to protest. But a self-styled performance artist took a different approach to making his voice heard in political circles: he stripped naked and nailed his own testicles to the ground in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square in plain view of tourists.
Pyotr Pavlensky’s said his unusual performance was a protest against Russian’s “police state.” And for that performance, he was promptly arrested on the day Russia marks its Police Day national holiday. He received treatment at a clinic before being taken to a police station.
One tourist filmed Pavlensky’s stunt which took place outside Lenin’s Mausoleum where he drove a single nail through his scrotum into the cobblestones.
This is not the first time he has used his body for attention grabbing protests. In the past, he sewed his lips together to protest the jailing of two members of the Pussy Riot punk band, and he also wrapped his naked body in barbed wire outside a government building in St Petersburg.
Pavlensky posted on a website prior to his performance: “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.”
It could also be a man looking at his balls nailed to the Kremlin, thinking “Perhaps I should have sent an email.”