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St. Petersburg Artist Denies He Tried to Hang Himself on Red Square

Published: September 5, 2014 (Issue # 1827)



  • Artist and activist Pavlensky being carried away by police during an anti-war demonstration in St. Petersburg earlier this year .
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, best known for nailing his scrotum to the cobblestones of Moscow's Red Square last fall, has denied reports he tried to hang himself near the Kremlin in another political protest.

"It's a great story," the activist said in a post on his Facebook page in the early hours of Thursday. "But I, if anything, did not hang myself."

Russian and Belarussian media on Wednesday evening reported Pavlensky had been detained after trying to hang himself on Red Square.

Pavlensky had reportedly recited a "manifesto" for freedom in Russia, and then got into an argument about the conflict in Ukraine with another visitor to the Moscow landmark, Naviny.by reported.

He then broke away from the crowd of listeners, threw a noose that he had brought with him around his neck, and tried to hang himself from an unspecified elevation, the report said.

Following his scrotum-nailing act to protest Russia's slide into a "police state" in November last year, Pavlensky was charged with hooliganism but the charges were dropped after investigators concluded his performance had had no ideological agenda, but was intended as a form of artistic expression.

He was detained again in February for staging a show of solidarity with protesters in Ukraine by re-enacting a scene from the protests on Kiev's Maidan Square by building a mini-barricade of car tires and lighting them on fire in St. Petersburg.

In July 2012, he sewed his mouth shut to protest the trial against Pussy Riot punk rock group, two members of which were later jailed for the stunt.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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