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They did WHAT?

Amy Blumsom takes a look at ten of the most shocking performance artworks

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10. Art School Stole My Virginity

Photo courtesy of Clayton Pettet
Photo courtesy of Clayton Pettet

It was only the initial idea of Clayton Pettet's work which shocked. Pettet promised to lose his gay viriginity in public. When it came to the performance, Pettet sat in a booth in his underwear and asked audience members to penetrate his mouth with a banana.

9. The Birth of Baby X

In at number nine, Marni Kotak decided to give birth to her son as part of an exhibition at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. The piece recieved world wide media attention and opened up discussions on issues surrounding pregnancy and birth.

8. Pandrogeny

Gensis and Lady Jane Breyer P-Orridge undertook this lifetime of bodily modification in order to achieve pandrogyny. Both underwent a series of plastic surgery in their attempt to become two gender-neutral human beings. Sadly, Lady Jane died in 2007.

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7. Testicle Tea

Japanse artist Mao Sugiyama had his testicles surgically removed to raise awareness of asexual rights. He kept them in the fridge for a bit then cooked them and served his friends a hearty meal of his very own baked bollocks.

6. Cock-a-doodle-don't

Yes, its another display involving testicles. This time Steven Cohen dressed up in wings, lingerie, heels and a rooster attached to his unmentionables by a ribbon. It was all against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, so that makes it artistic...right?

5. Seedbed

At number five is Vito Acconci who in 1972 lay hidden beneath the floor and masturbated while his spoken fantasies were heard by the audience over loudspeaker. Acconci masturbated for eight hours a day, over the course of three weeks. Creepy.

4. Vaginal Knitting

Australian artist Casey Jenkins caused disgust with this piece of cosy knitting. The horror came when she decided to sit in a gallery and knit with wool that had been inserted into her vagina. Apparently she was challenging perceptions of genitalia.

3. Rhythm 0

Marina Abramovic's performance was shocking not for her own actions, but those of the audience. The artist lay out 72 objects, including a feather and knives, that the audience were given freedom to use on her. One audience member pointed a loaded gun at her and Abramovic still has scars from the ordeal.

2. Vomit Art

Millie Brown sparked controversy this year when she vomitted coloured milks on Lady Gaga in the name of art. She has since swapped to soya milk as dairy milk makes her feel sick. Surprise surprise.

1. Pyotr Pavlensky

Pytor PavlenskyThe top spot, without a doubt, goes to Pyotr Pavlensky. You may remember him as the man who nailed his testicles to the pavement of Red Square earlier this year. The piece was in protest against Vladimir Putin's police state.

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