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.
Steven 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)