Anal virginity art student in April Fool’s Joke?

Clayton Pettet, who made headlines last year after announcing that he’d lose his anal virginity in front of a live audience has left an eagerly awaiting audience frustrated after it appeared that his ‘art project’ was all just a hoax.

Up to 120 tickets were made available to people who were expecting to see the Central Saint Martin’s art student lose his anal virginity. Instead visitors were lead down to a basement where they were invited to insert bananas into his mouth, in the ”Penetration Booth.’

One reviewer said:

‘So at some point between October and April – a good seven months, something changed. It was clear that what 100 people experienced tonight was never the original intention, and that probably should have been communicated to the press of the world that hyped this up to be one of the most “controversial” exhibitions of the decade. I don’t suppose we will ever know what happened, but this is how it went down tonight…

We entered the industrial open space of Theatre Delicatessen on Marylebone High Street, mobile phones confiscated and seated in a space with no formal stage, just an extension of the floor with a steel bowl and raw broom head. After about fifteen minutes of the audience discussing and speculating, silence fell upon the room, a near nude Clayton enters, dressed in just black boxer briefs with smears of paint on his body spelling out words such as VIRGIN, BUTT and the lettering of NSFW. He is followed on by four similarly clad but fully veiled in white support artists. Clayton takes to the floor, and begins scrubbing the words off of his skin with the broom and pink liquid contents of the steel bowls leaving his skin appearing raw and scratched. The soundtrack being French 60s female alt-folk and the words of middle America’s broadcast media mocking the exhibition upon its announcement, and the video playing in the background of Clayton peeling, licking and eating an entire table loaded high with bananas. He stops at a point where his flesh is on the verge of bleeding, words still smudged across his chest, and leaves the stage. Members of the audience are subsequently escorted in groups to a small baby blue/lilac room on the lower ground floor – the walls of which are covered in the words of the world’s media written in a felt pen. Individually, we are picked out one by one from the room to experience Clayton seated cross legged in a hut surrounded by rip yellow bananas, we are asked to enter and sit with him. He asks, eye contact locked to me “I want you to penetrate my mouth six times with this banana.” The penetration takes place, and Clayton politely asks you to leave. His manner was almost aggressive ironically leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth.’

On the 12th April, the Fringe! Film and Arts festival will be hosting an open discussion of Clayton’s performance. Tickets are on sale here

Reactions from audience members on Twitter ranged from the bemused to the angry.

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@rhistvu wrote:

‘So disappointed with Clayton Pettet’s performance yesterday. Art hoaxes are fine when its though out and creative #ArtSchoolStoleMyVirginity’

and

@suzannezhang tweeted:

‘I am completely embarrassed by #ClaytonPettet ‘s performance… Piece not even about #sexuality.. Worst thing ever + audience got hungry’