Performance artist Steven Cohen is used to generating controversy and getting attention. He has paraded through a squatter camp in high heels and a chandelier tutu, defecated on stage and inserted numerous objects into his rectum, all in the name of art. What he did not expect was to get into a legal battle over his work in, of all places, France.

In September, Cohen was arrested after he walked around the Trocadero in central Paris with a rooster attached to his penis. In the performance piece, entitled Coq/Cock, Cohen says he was making a statement about dual identity—he is a South African living in France, a gay man and a Jew. He was charged with sexual exhibitionism.

"For me it had nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with gender identity and politics of the body," Cohen tells Vocativ from his home in Lille, outside Paris. "It’s actually the very last thing I thought would ever happen in Paris and in France, which is a country that is supposedly a place where we make art. It’s supposed to love art," he says.

Cohen has performed his work all over the world, including at festivals in Paris, Germany and Japan. Stevenson, the gallery that represents him in South Africa, describes him as an artist who stages interventions in public spaces and galleries to draw “attention to that which is marginalized in society.” To Cohen, it’s all about grabbing attention. “I think what’s the point of making work if no one is going to see it,” he says. “I’m an artist and my job is to change consciousness and through that maybe hopefully social circumstances change.”

Cohen’s lawyer says he faces a year in jail and a €15,000 fine (about $20,000) if convicted. He is due to appear in court in Paris on March 24th. Cohen is not backing down. “Art is the last area we have to talk about difficult things,” he says. “I am not pleading guilty to anything because I am not guilty…I’m insisting on my right to make art in a way I want to make it.”

As for the rooster, which Cohen named Frank, he’s now living a quiet life away from the public eye. “He’s on a farm where he will live for the rest of his life,” says Cohen. “He won’t end up being eaten, like every other animal in France…”

Wushu Shadow fight performance

This is just a beautiful peace. 

without the audience the work doesnt exist. It has no meaning. 

On a snowless but chilly afternoon early in the Moscow winter, a 29-year-old man with a gaunt, emaciated face stepped on to the vast expanse of Red Square. He made his way to a spot on the cobblestones not far from the marble mausoleum housing the waxy corpse of Vladimir Lenin, and began to undress. In less than a minute, he was naked.

A video taken using a handheld camera and posted online moments later shows tourists gawping as he sits on the ground. A police car arrives, and an officer orders the man to get up. But the man cannot get up – because he is attached to the icy cobbles with a single, long nail that is driven through his scrotum and into the stones below.

This was only the third piece of protest art in the oeuvre of St Petersburg native Petr Pavlensky, but he has already made a name for himself as one of the most intriguing figures on the contemporary Russian art scene. Tapping into the instincts that drove Pussy Riot, and their progenitors, the Voina art collective, Pavlensky fuses risque performance with a deep disdain for the current political environment in Russia.Having previously wrapped himself naked in a coil of barbed wire, and sewn his lips together, this third wince-inducing stunt attracted international attention.

fuck-yeah-feminist:

Fight for your sisters, not just your cis-sters.

(via loveisthenewpunk)

gabifresh:

take no shit 2014
gabifresh:

take no shit 2014
66lanvin:

showstudio:

‘Plato’s Atlantis’, Raquel Zimmermann by Alexander McQueen, Nick Knight and Ruth Hogben

THE beautiful FALL by McQUEEN…………..No.11

66lanvin:

showstudio:

‘Plato’s Atlantis’, Raquel Zimmermann by Alexander McQueen, Nick Knight and Ruth Hogben

THE beautiful FALL by McQUEEN…………..No.11

(via nickystruts)