Russian Performance Artist Nails His Testicles To Ground In Protest

Performance artists do a lot of wild, crazy, bold things to get attention and make a statement, but this story might take the case. On Sunday, Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky stripped naked in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square and nailed his scrotum to the cobblestone street. He explained — in between wailing in pain, I imagine — that the protest was his response to Russia’s descent into a “police state.” Sunday was Police Day in Russia, which celebrates the country’s law enforcement. Clearly, Pavlensky is not a fan of the holiday. He went on in a statement:

“The performance can be seen as a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society. As the government turns the country into one big prison, stealing from the people and using the money to grow and enrich the police apparatus and other repressive structures, society is allowing this, and forgetting its numerical advantage, is bringing the triumph of the police state closer by its inaction.”

Listen, I think political protests of this extreme nature can be incredibly powerful and draw attention to issues that might otherwise be ignored by the media. All that being said, I imagine that the police officer pictured with Pavlensky in the photo above had quite a laugh about his “ballsy” stunt. Pavlensky was taken to a hospital to have his scrotum tended to, and then was taken to the police station. He faces up to 15 days in jail. [Guardian UK]