Another Noon: Since the summer of 1703 the cannon from the Petropavlovsk fortress was announcing the beginning and the end of the working day. Later it signaled the rise of water in the Neva during the floods. First time in the history the daily noon shot was made in 1865 in Sevastopol as a time signal to set the clocks on the ships, churches and the admiralty. St Petersburg followed the concept of improvement the early horology in XIX century Russia. The tradition of the midday shot was cancelled after the October Revolution – as if following the old saying that the revolutionaries shot to the clocks – but later restored again in 1957 for the 250th anniversary of the city. On the very rare occasions the canon was shot also on different times, to celebrate the birth of the 5.000.0000 inhabitant of Petersburg, or the restoration of Aurora, and, only twice since the end of 1950 was missed. Pavel Braila negotiates with the city authorities one more additional shot, at 13.00 according to the east European time zone. St. Petersburg is one of the places where a socio-economic dimensions of the “politics of the clock” can be felt in especially in the winter. Since 2011 according to Duma degree the city follows the Moscow time permanently, which makes a 2h difference in relation to neighboring Finland or Estonia. In March 2014 Sevastopol decreed that the clocks shell jump ahead two hours to adopt Moscow time. The philosophy has since long submitted clocks to a critique based on an understanding of human subjectivity and politics, making revolutions not only change the world—but also changing time. Another Noon shot once at 13.00, as yet another time shift, was heard and observed on June 28, 2014 on the spit of Vasilyevsky Island by Neva river.

Another Noon shot once at 13.00, as yet another time shift, was heard and observed on June 28, 2014 on the spit of Vasilyevsky Island by Neva river, the day of the opening of The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Manifesta 10.


Pavel Braila was born in 1971, in Chişinău (Republic of Moldova).
He lives and works in Berlin and Chişnău.
Courtesy the artist.

N°5 / The Forest – Contents