Pyotr Pavlensky, 29, a performance artist has been arrested in Moscow after stripping naked and driving a nail through his scrotum into the cobblestone paving, outside the Lenin Mausoleum, in Red Square.
The artist is known for sewing his mouth shut, in protest of the incarcerated Punk/art band Pussy Riot. He sat for an hour on Sunday, at the tourist attraction unable to move. The police and paramedics eventually freed him and he was later arrested. The St Petersburg artist could have been detained for up to 15 days but was freed today (Monday) without charge. It was not clear if he would be re-arrested and charged for disorder offences.
Pavlensky stated his “Fixation” act was a metaphor for apathy in Russia. An avid critic of President Vladimir Putin Pavlensky has blamed the crackdown on dissent since his re-election in March last year for much that ails Russia today.
The protest which took place on Police Day in Russia, Pavlensky said in a written statement: “When the authorities turn the country into one big prison, openly robbing the populace and channelling funds to increase and enrich the police and other security agencies, society accepts arbitrariness and, having forgotten its advantage in numbers, brings the triumph of the police state closer through its inaction.”
Other leading figures from the Russian art world praised his Red Square act in comments on grani.ru, with one calling it a “powerful gesture of absolute despair” and another, “a manifesto of powerlessness”.
Watch Uncensored video here