But what if he’s not gay?

But student artist at Central Saint Martin’s, Clayton Pettet, has attracted much attention with a planned piece of performance art, during which he will lose his virginity in front of 100 people in a gallery in Hackney.

The performance, entitled Art School Stole My Virginity, will see 19-year-old Pettet have sex with another boy on 25 January, in front of a live audience. People in the crowd will then be invited to ask questions.

Most interesting.

But what if it turns out that, when getting right down to the nitty gritty, he’s not in fact gay?

19 thoughts on “But what if he’s not gay?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    He is an Art Student. How much gayer can he get?

    But if he is not Gay, he is just another poser having what I would guess would be rather uncomfortable sex in public for money.

    However I would bet as his aim is publicity and hence fame and money, which he has now got, he is unlikely to go through with it, Gay or not. And doubly so if he is not Gay.

  2. I might have mentioned this on here before, but a Norwegian mate of mine went to school in Bergen with a lad who became one of America’s most well-known gay porn stars. Thing is, he’s not gay, he does it for the money.

  3. “Virginity has almost become heteronormative in its definition,” he says. “Is virginity even real?”

    Another uselessly over educated poseur, as if we didn’t have enough of those anyway.

    Anyway, I think the venue should be changed to a community centre in East London somewhere – it would certainly make for a more, er, vibrant audience participation.

  4. I think this sums up my whole problem with the current art scene. It attempts to be shocking, but is inevitably obvious and banal, since the Left (which it represents) still haven’t realised that their “alternativeness” is now the mainstream. In a society in which homosexuality is condemned, this might be a great political-sexual-whatever statement. As it is, in a society in which homophilia is not just approved of but obligatory, it is the opposite.

    If he really wanted to be shocking, he’d light up a cigarette afterwards. Or just, instead.

  5. Ian B, this was brilliantly pointed out in “Franklyn”. Shame no-one saw it. Eva Green makes an art project where she videotapes her own suicide attempt and the arrival of the paramedics. When she shows it to her supervisor (the gym manager from Peep Show) he asks her “Wouldn’t you rather do something more original?”

  6. “Virginity has almost become heteronormative in its definition,” he says. “Is virginity even real?”

    1. as pointed out passim ‘heteronormative’ is a nonsense of a word.

    2. any fule kno that the point of virginity has never been “sexually inexperienced” but “unlikely to be bearing another man’s child”. Ergo, depending on how you feel about homosexuals or, pace Ian B, homosexual activity, he could be on a spectrum from ‘gay man comfortably expressing his sexuality’ to ‘nasty sodomite whose going to perdition’ but his ‘virginity’ is frankly a moot point.

  7. I’m shocked – shocked! – at this deeply surprising and audacious work of transgressive art, which has rocked my little bourgeois suburban provincial heteronormative world to its very core.

    That’s the third monocle this week that has dropped from my eye in consternation.

    What a talented young man Mr. Pettet is. Now if you’ll excuse me, I ate a bran muffin with my coffee this morning, so I must now go and make some art.

  8. It’s a bit like those tossers staging West End musicals attacking the Mormons – I’ll accept they are brave and transgressive when they stage one about our friends in the East.

  9. Also, “another boy”?

    He’s a 19 year old man. Old enough to shave, vote, get married, father children, and kill people in wars.

    But then the art world is full of perpetually adolescent attention seekers so perhaps he will still be a “boy” well into his thirties.

  10. @Interested: the tossers in question, Matt Stone & Trey Parker, also have a TV show called South Park. In which they’ve featured Muhammad a few times. They got censored by the network, but they did at least make the attempt.

    I haven’t seen the musical but when they took a dig at Mormonism on South Park they attacked the religion while being quite complimentary to Mormons themselves.

  11. Man has intercourse with man. This is news? Even if he claims it’s art.

    I remember an interview with Tracy Emin, John Humphreys asking questions. W.r.t the Unmade Bed, he asked if it was art. Emin said yes, it was art. Humphreys asked why she was qualified to make that statement. She said she was an artist.

    So it doesn’t matter what he does, how he does it, or even if his statements about it are materially incorrect, it’s art because he’s an artist and he said it’s art…

  12. @MattyJ – fair dos, though the ‘tossers’ I mean are not just the people who wrote it but the people who staged it, reviewed it, clapped each other on the back in respect of it etc.

    I was clumsily making a not original broader point cf Piss Christ etc.

  13. I’ve been trying to think of ways our budding artist can make his performance genuinely shocking, rather than merely predictable and tedious.

    1) Wear a Jimmy Savile mask

    2) Announce after the coitus that it was a protest against government subsidies to art

    3) Lure aesthetes to the show under the pretence they’ll see gay sex and then epater their sensibilities by showing them a beautiful painting or sculpture you created

  14. Lure aesthetes to the show under the pretence they’ll see gay sex and then epater their sensibilities by showing them a beautiful painting or sculpture you created



  15. Ian B,

    Art galleries, like musicals and theatre are relics of a former age. We invented new ways of producing and distributing art (film, TV, advertising) that pay better and allow for a wider distribution and so attract talent to them.

    So, great artists stopped producing art for galleries and made or worked on movies instead. And instead of galleries just doing the decent thing and preserving Turners or closing down, they had to find a new way to exist and so created various special pleading for their existence.

  16. Am I right in thinking that if a young man and his lady friend..or even several of his lady friends offered to do something similar in front of a group of young gentlemen attending a performance art course known as ‘a stag do’ then the rozzers might become involved??? But this is different right??

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