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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.





 


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Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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