John M. Becker

UK Art School 'Virgin' Punks Everyone

Filed By John M. Becker | April 15, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bananas, bottoming, Clayton Pettet, losing your virginity, performance art, virginity, weird news

clayton-pettet-bathtub.jpgRemember Clayton Pettet, the 19-year-old U.K. art student who announced last year that he would lose his virginity in public as part of an art project? Turns out it was all a giant hoax.

On April 2, Pettet's big day finally arrived. One hundred twenty viewers packed a gallery in London's Bloomsbury neighborhood to watch Pettet's deflowering... but instead, they were asked to put bananas in his mouth. Seriously.

Dazed Digital reports:

"[T]he gallery... had chairs gathered around a small performance space. A video projected onto the wall showed a pile of bananas. A broom brush and a silver bowl of water were arranged delicately on a concrete floor...

"Four topless people - one women, three men - marched out wordlessly, holding up signs that read 'ANAL VIRGIN.' One of the men was Pettet; everyone else wore white shrouds. They were all in black pants, I guess because black goes with everything, including and especially performance art.

"Scrawled all over Pettet's body were words like 'NSFW' and 'TEEN WHORE.' Pettet scrubbed the words off him till his skin turned red. One of the boys grabbed him and started to cut chunks of his hair off. The crowd gasped. The woman daubed black paint on all over Pettet's mouth.

"Three of them, Pettet included, trooped downstairs into the basement. The remaining man walked around the crowd, selecting people at random to follow the group. Those unlucky enough to be left were treated to a video of Pettet eating his way through a pile of bananas as Serge Gainsbourg's 'Les Sucettes' played, alternated with audio recordings of talkshow hosts deriding and discussing Pettet."

More from Dazed Digital reporter Zing Tsjeng's account of the "big event" is after the jump.

Tsjeng continues:

"Finally, we were led into the basement and taken to a small room. The topless woman sat cross-legged on the floor, solemnly regarding graffiti scrawled on the walls, with lines like 'MY NEW ANUS, PUT IT IN' and 'Performance art is shit. Get a grip and pick up a fucking paintbrush.' One just read, simply, '#trending.' Well, you can't accuse Pettet of not being reflexive.

"The hooded man pointed to me and asked me to follow. As I walk out, I catch a glimpse of another line of graffiti that reads: 'Part 2 - penetration booth.'

pettet-virginity-banana.jpg"The booth was very, very small. I crouched to get in. Pettet was sat inside, still in his pants, with two piles of bananas in front of him.

"'I am your anal virgin,' he said. 'You are my partner. Pick up a banana.' I immediately started to panic: penetrating a 19-year-old was not on my to-do list tonight, even if it's with a piece of fruit. 'Now penetrate with my mouth eight times.'

"I gratefully slid the banana into Pettet's mouth as he stared me down. Then he took the banana out of my hand, snapped it in two and told me to leave. I scrambled out and was guided to another gallery space, with three-foot-high canvases featuring cartoonishly bright, primitive illustrations of girls being fingered, hacked-off limbs, mirrors with cum on them, and self-portraits of Pettet. They were all available to buy on Instagram, a poster told us."

Pettet later told Dazed Digital that he never actually intended to have sex: "I've always said I didn't believe in virginity, so it kind of defeats the point if I'd actually lost my virginity for my art show!" Translation: April Fools!

Remember in my first post about Pettet, where I asked whether his project was actually art or merely an exercise in narcissism? We may now have our answer.

Photo by Willow Garms.

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