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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

Monday, Oct. 20


Amateur pictures from World War I are on display for only one more day at Rosphoto’s exhibition “On Both Sides,” chronicling the conflict through the eyes of observers on both sides of the trenches. The price of entrance to the exhibition is 100 rubles ($2.50).



Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the chance to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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