Russian artist nails own scrotum to ground in Red Square

By Conor Hallahan

A Russian performance artist has been arrested after a protest in which he nailed his scrotum to the ground in Moscow's Red Square.

Pyotr Pavlensky, 29, said he carried out the protest at lunchtime yesterday to highlight what he called Russia's descent into a police state.

WATCH: Video below of Pavlensky's stunt (SFW - relatively)

The protest was timed to coincide with Police Day in Russia.

"The performance can be seen as a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society," Pavlensky said in a statement.

"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."

It's not the first time that Pavlensky has made headlines for his protests. Last year he sewed up his own mouth in protest at the treatment of punk band Pussy Riot at the hands of the Russian justice system, while another protest saw the artist wrap himself in barbed wire before parliament in St Petersburg.

“Sewing up my mouth, I showed the situation of the contemporary artist in Russia, living in an environment where there’s a ban on publicity, the tightening of censorship and suppression of public statements in contemporary art," he said at the time.

Pavlensky was taken to hospital after his latest stunt and treated for minor injuries but refused to be admitted, The Guardian reported.

He was later arrested and is set to appear in court today, where he faces up to 15 days in jail.

- You can see a full and uncensored video of the protest here. WARNING: It features footage of a man with a large nail through his scrotum, so… you know… don't blame us if you're grossed out.

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