1. Art student Clayton Pettet has been causing a stir with plans to lose his virginity as part of a live performance art project.
The 19-year-old, second-year Central Saint Martin’s student plans to have sex with his boyfriend for the first time in front of an audience for his project Art School Stole My Virginity. The event will take place on January 25 next year in a closed space in Hackney in front of an audience of 50-100.
2. Writing on his Tumblr, he explained:
The Idea of “Art School Stole My Virginity” came around when I was Sixteen, when all my peers at school were losing their Virginity it was incredibly hard for me to ask why I was still a Virgin and why it meant so much to the people all around me. My piece isnt a statement as much as it is a question. The whole aspect of Virginity was incredibly emotional for me and has been ever since. It became a thought process that turned into the performance piece that I wish to create for the public on January the 25th. The London Art Scene has slowed down recently and whilst London is in its prime and is constantly changing the contemporary artists are the same and they aren’t so contemporary anymore. I want my piece to inject some speed into the arts, a performance of the people if you will. I feel like now is the time for the new scene. To lose my Virginity with the new age is the Avant Garde that London has been unintentionally waiting for.
3. News of the project has provoked a storm of conversation over whether this is art or a stunt, and whether it cheapens sex.
An article on the Huffington Post says Peppet has provoked outrage, and quotes LGBT groups in condemning his project.
4. Rev Sharon Ferguson of the Lesbian and Gay Christian movement said:
I’m not quite sure how that’s art. My view is that we believe that all sexuality is a gift from God. It’s about what you do with it and how we use it as an expression of our love for God. For my imagining in sex as an art form, I don’t think this falls into that category. My issue is around, is this the right expression of somebody’s bodily sexuality? As an art project in front of an audience, where is the love, respect and mutuality in that? Stunts like this cheapen our sexual relationships.
6. He wrote:
The Huffington Post just wrote about my piece, and as much as I am pleased people are talking and debating the idea behind Art School. Some speak without understanding. Firstly I have never communicated with The Huffington and I do not expect rave reviews (I never said that) I never said anything to them.
Virginity to me is conceptual and losing it as a performance piece is the way I have chosen to do that. But for a reason I haven’t said the layout of the piece, the location of the piece. Or what is actually going to happen. So for people comparing it to a live sex show, I can assure it will be nothing like that.
BuzzFeed has reached out for Clayton for a further comment.