A Russian artist stripped naked outside Lenin's Mausoleum and nailed his testicles to a Red Square cobblestone in front of horrified passersby. It was a "metaphor for apathy, political indifference and fatalism of modern Russian society," he explained.
The St. Petersburg-based artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, was taken to
police after being treated in a hospital. He could spend up to 15
days in jail as a standard punishment for hooliganism.
"It's not a bureaucratic mess that deprives society of its ability to act, but fixation on our own defeats and losses that nails us to the Kremlin's pavement stronger and stronger, creating an army of apathetic idols out of people, patiently awaiting their fate," Pavlensky said about the meaning of his latest Red Square protest meant to mark the annual Police Day holiday celebrated in Russia on November 10.
The artist was detained on charges of disorderly conduct which
included "explicit contempt for society accompanied by
swearing in public, insulting harassment of citizens, as well as
However, on Monday Pavlensky was released without an official
statement. Moscow’s Tverskoy District court spokeswoman Ekaterina
Korotova told Itar-Tass the court would not consider
whether the performance artist had committed an administrative
The police report of the alleged offense "lacked the
description of specific intentional acts committed by
Pavlensky," the court concluded.
After the report is corrected, law enforcement authorities may
send the case back to court. The maximum punishment Pavlensky
could face for disorderly conduct is 15 days in jail.
It's not the first time the 29-year-old has chosen extreme
methods of protest. His name didn't ring a bell until last year
when Pavlensky sewed his lips together to protest against the
jailing of the Pussy Riot members who staged an anti-Putin
performance inside a landmark Moscow cathedral.
Earlier this year, in May, Pavlensky was arrested after wrapping his naked body in barbed wire outside a Legislative Assembly building in St. Petersburg. He said his stunt stood for "human existence in repressive legal system where any movement causes a severe reaction of the law, which sinks its teeth into the body of an individual."