A Biotic Community

Guardians of the Threshold, H-hour

Sviblova— Animals have appeared as a topic in art since the very dawn of human civilization. We know that there are cave paintings where animals are depicted. This may be a horse, it may be deer, it may be elephants, if we’re talking about Asian cultures but the animals appear, because human society, humanity, is a biotic community and that this is still the case. I think that we have the possibility to develop civilization...

Bat from H-Hour
Bat, H-Hour

Of course, animals are like a totem, an emblem in all religious faiths, and this crosses into the history of art. In the history of art most of all. It is human nature to transfer some metaphysical problems to such ‘totem’ to animals. For example, we know that the animals may be sacrificed in some religious cults, the animal may become an amulet.

Brood of mice

If we are talking about world mythology, world mythology personified deities as certain animals. That is a long-standing trans-cultural tradition, and we know that art itself represents a means for separating some cultural… practices, when we talk about the origin of religious cults.

Dead Mouse, H-hour

So, Grisha again draws on animals. He scoops up this very deep unconscious connection between man and animal, the natural world, because animals are a way for us to represent ourselves. On the other hand, they represent independent entities to us and therefore retain a sense of mystery. This connection is a constant religious metaphysical start-point for the art of Grisha Bruskin, and at the same time – social problems, and at the same time – the existential problems of each person which lends brevity and a sense of the global nature in Bruskin’s work.

Starving Dog from H-Hour

Grisha found the word, fundamental, and it can be applied to all of his work, as well as the inclusion of animals and the personification of certain social, yet simultaneously personal, fears and concerns. In Grisha's work there is always a huge amount of culture as a background and a very fixed, very well-articulated personal accent, because it very much relies on the fact that he himself is the subject. It is the combination of these two elements that makes the work so piercing. It is truly piercing, emotionally.

Starving Dogs, H-hour

We always understand that there is nothing purely casual and coincidental in his work. It is always possible to trace lines of these influences. But at the same time we can not forget to look at the work as children, as children look at toys, as children look at the world with wide eyes, and we will feel that his work provokes reflection on such a fundamental level, charged with very personal experiences and emotions, that he manages to make these emotions accessible within each and every one of us.

Bat from H-Hour

I think it’s very interesting, it provides the variety and range in Grisha Bruskin’s work, which has not yet been assembled completely but is still under development. Nevertheless I think we’re going to talk about him as an important personality, one of the most important personalities of world art in the late twentieth / early twenty-first century.

The animal may
become an amulet

-Olga Sviblova

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