Grisha Bruskin

bruskinBorn in 1945 in Moscow into the family of a professor at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute and has taken part in many shows in Russia and abroad. In 1999, at the invitation of the German government and as a representative of Russia, he created a monumental triptych called “Life Above All” for the restored Reichstag building in Berlin. Works by the artist are in the collections of many museums across the world. Bruskin is also the author of several works of literature. Lives and works in New York and Moscow.

The theme of the “H-Hour” sculpture project is the myth of the enemy in all its manifestations: a hostile state; class enemy; enemy of the subconscious; “the other” as enemy; “the unknown” as en­emy; Time, Chronos, and Death as enemies… Bruskin’s goal is to analyze how images of the enemy are created and mythologized. He thinks it important to trace how the trivial is made sacred, to un­derstand the potential hypnotic power of art, and how a depiction becomes a method and instrument for manipulating people. The starting points for this work are Soviet posters on civil defense, which were all over public places when the artist was a child. The posters depicted hypothetical moments that a person would experi­ence when the “H-Hour” came. That is, when the enemy — Americans or Germans — attacked us. It was a compendium of rules in pictures. A general set of instructions. Biblical commandments. As a child, the author was strongly affected by these pictures. He imagined himself inside a strange Kafkaesque world whose laws were inaccessible to him. Every action inside the unfamiliar space vio­lated laws he did not know and earned a punishment. Bruskin suffered a permanent sense of ines­capable guilt. The situation, as in Franz Kafka’s works, turned into fate. Destiny. The “inevitable.” “H-Hour” consists of several dozen sculptures that take the form of a single whole. Each sculpture, with the capacity for autonomy, is a page from a book. Only after turning all the pages will the view­er-reader see the whole picture and read the author’s message.

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