Tonight I was one of 100 attendees at artist and Central St Martins student Clayton Petett’s hugely anticipated debut exhibition ‘Art School Stole My Virginity’. I like Clayton, he’s a smart man/boy/manboy – but what the world expected to take place…didn’t. I’m not sure when the plan changed exactly, and I am by no means stating that the experience of the exhibition was a bad thing, but the misrespresentation and false advertising (first hand from Clayton himself) is definitely something that should be discussed first. This is an excerpt from an interview with Clayton from VICE in October:
Who are you losing it to?
I can’t disclose information on my partner at this minute. He’s at my art school, though, and someone I am physically and emotionally attracted to.
That’s nice. So how’s it going to happen?
I can tell you I will be having sex in front of an audience in a large space. It will be aesthetically pleasing and not presented like a peep show or something dark and seedy. But other pieces will be created from the one perforrmance. My partner and I will both have a light smattering of paint on our bodies while we’re having sex on an unstretched piece of canvas to create a permanent piece of the performance. That will be hung up straight after the performance is done.
None of the above took place. 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…