Writing Art History Since 2002

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On Monday 5 May, South African performance artist Steven Cohen was found guilty of sexual exhibitionism for performing Coq/Cock in France on 10 September.

The performance involved Cohen, dressed in an elaborate costume including his trademark platform shoes and heavy make-up, walking around the Place du Trocadero, near the Eiffel Tower, with a rooster attached to his penis. He was arrested and detained for questioning by the French police. Though Cohen was found guilty, no fine or penalty was imposed.
Picture 3Steven Cohen. Coq/Cock. 2013. Digital video. Duration 5 min 28 sec.
© Copyright 2013, STEVENSON. All rights reserved.
Before the verdict, Cohen commented on the work: “I made a work using French national symbols – the cock, the Eiffel Tower, the Folies Bergère – as well as a very South African approach to using public space with political consciousness. I used my penis because it’s me. Everything about me is inscribed in my penis – white, Jewish, male, gay. It’s about gender identity – it’s not about fucking.” (from Limelight magazine)

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