The Russian dissident Performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, 35, is to face invasion of privacy charges after leaking a graphic sex tape of Parisian mayoral candidate Benjamin Griveaux. The politician is a member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party La République En Marche.
Benjamin Griveaux is someone who constantly brings up family values – PP
Mr Pavlensky allegedly uploaded the video to a “political porn” website that he created last week. The origin of the video is said to have come from Griveaux who sent the short film to de Taddeo, who had indicated a relationship before she began seeing Pavlensky, in May 2018. She denies involvement in disseminating the footage online.
Alexandra de Taddeo, Pavlensky’s girlfriend, was also arrested and has now been released by French police after being charged publishing images of a sexual nature without consent. Pavlensky told French paper Libération. “He is someone who constantly brings up family values, who says he wants to be the mayor of families and always cites his wife and children as an example. But he is doing the opposite.”
Pavlensky is currently under investigation in connection to a New Year’s Eve knife fight. Benjamin Griveaux has since dropped out of the race.
Born in Leningrad in 1984, Pavlensky studied monumental art at the Saint Petersburg Art and Industry Academy. During his fourth year in the Academy, he took additional training at St. Petersburg Pro Arte Foundation for Culture and Arts.
Pavlensky founded an independent online newspaper Political Propaganda in 2012, which was dedicated to contemporary art in political contexts, “overcoming cultural chauvinism, implemented by the government”, feminism and gender equality.
He was awarded the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent in 2016. The Prize was later withdrawn after Pavlensky announced his intention to dedicate it (and its monetary award) to an insurgent group and then explicitly endorsed the use of violence as a valid method to combat government oppression.