Kuzkin Andrej


Born in 1979 in Moscow. Graduated from the Moscow State University of Printing Arts (Moscow Polytechnic University). Member of the Moscow Union of Artists since 2006. Two- time winner of the Innovation Prize (2008, “New Generation”; 2017, “Book of the Year”), winner of the Kandinsky Prize (2016, “Project of the Year”). Lives and works in Moscow.

Prayers and Heroes

The artist has been working on this performative practice for three years.
It is a tribute paid to Russia’s tragic history, its innocent victims, its weakness and cruelty. All the figures in the installation are made from breadcrumbs by hand, their heads painted with the artist’s blood. The choice of material is not accidental: organic and associated with life, bread is the best material for depicting the human body — changing, perishable, suffering. And, sooner or later, vanishing.
The work combines Christian symbolism (bread as a symbol of Christ’s body) and the Russian prison tradition of moulding figures from bread. It suggests a notion of the body as a prison of the soul, of the world as a temporary abode. The division of society into those who pray (prayers) and those who fight (heroes) explores the social essence of sacrifice and heroism: Most people are willing to endure injustice, to suffer and beg god or a king for salvation. Those who are not, those who are destroyed by the state machinery throughout history, can later be put on a pedestal and presented as heroes.
The contempt toward the individual, the incredible cruelty and injustice with which history is filled to the brim, in Russia and elsewhere — all this becomes material for artist’s reflections.

Andrey Kuzkin

The installation was shown in 2019 at the “Fabrika” CСI (Moscow) and at the 8th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (New Tretyakovka, Moscow), and in 2020 at the “A Beautiful Night for All the People” exhibition at the 2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow)

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