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Archaeologist’s Collection


A R T C H R O N I K A C U LT U R A L F O U N D AT I O N

Grisha Bruskin

Archaeologist’s Collection

2013


Catalog Cover: Grisha Bruskin Archaeologist’s Collection, 2007 Photo by Dima Galanternik Frontispiece: Grisha Bruskin Photo by Sten Rosenlund Design: Dmitry Chernogaev Grisha Bruskin Texts: Shalva Breus Grisha Bruskin Boris Groys Mikhail Iampolski Translation: Elisaveta Kudinova Yury Tabac Nina Bouis Editor: Patricia Donegan The book is published in English and Russian. All rights reserved.

ISBN 978-3-86678-883-1

Published to accompany Grisha Bruskin’s Archaeologist’s Collection exhibition. Udarnik, Moscow May 17 — August 11, 2013 Exhibition organizers:

President Shalva Breus Vice-President Tatiana Sakhokiya Executive Director Irina Bobyleva Architecture of the exhibition BERNASKONI


The author would like to thank all those who participated in creating Archaeologist’s Collection sculptures and in organizing the show at the former theater Udarnik in Moscow. Sincere gratitude to President of the Cultural Foundation ArtChronica Shalva Breus, to the Vice-President Tatiana Sahokia and Executive Director Irina Bobyleva. My gratitude to: authors of the essays Boris Groys and Mikhail Iampolski; designer Dmitry Chernogaev; foundry workers: Enrico Salvadori, Giacomo Salvadori, Teresa Salvadori, Jean-Luc Salvadori and Antonio de Girolamo; architect Boris Bernaskoni; archaeologist Marcello Miccio; photographers Mark Luthrell and Dima Galanternik; film director Shannon Niehus; lighting technician Nicolas Demoret; sound director Konstantin Dudakov; and Long Island University professor Alexander Schedrinsky.


Contents


Shalva Breus Myth about Myths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Boris Groys Soviet Antiquities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Mikhail Iampolski Fetishes of Impoverished Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Archaeologist's Collection Sketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Grisha Bruskin How the Archaeologist's Collection should be exhibited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Excavation of the sculptures Archaeologist’s Collection Tuscany, November of 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Grisha Bruskin Archaeologist's Collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Archaeologist's Collection Sculptures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Marcello Miccio Archaeological metallurgical study surface of bronze statues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 Chronology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 List of sculptures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206


A Klee painting named “Angelus Novus� shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. Walter Benjamin Theses on the Philosophy of History. Illuminations.


Myth about Myths


Shalva Breus

My generation had the unique opportunity of spending part of their lives in an empire and observing its collapse. It was like living in Ottoman Porte or the Roman Empire and becoming witnesses to their tragic majestic disintegration. And then being transported to a modern, comfortable life abroad or in Russia. The scale and power of the events will never lose their hold on us, never leave us in peace, never allow us to become indifferent to the past. All who lived in the Soviet Union have their own personal, unique map of the Soviet past. Grisha Bruskin has his. For him, the way back from the Sugar Kremlin lies exclusively over the Stone Bridge and inevitably leads to the House on the Embankment. Many of Bruskin’s symbol-heroes lived there — his marshals, physicians, pioneers, party workers, future prison camp zeks… His butchers cut up carcasses in special supply facilities for the elite, and saleswomen packed up deficit goods for the privileged clientele. And they all went to the Udarnik Theater to watch legendary films and see famous performers. It is metaphysically appropriate for Bruskin’s exhibition to be held at 2 Serafimovich Street, at the Udarnik, steeped in myth and a myth itself. Where even the cupola roof, intended to be convertible but opened only once, became a myth. All the people who sat in the darkened theater, eating ice cream and holding hands with young women wearing crêpe-deChine, have been made into myths by Grisha Bruskin. The Archaeologist's Collection is a hologram of a vanished world, an exhibition of signs from the past which became myths from which new myths arise. Symbols of vanished symbols. Legends about legends. Shadows of shadows. Myths about myths…

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Soviet Antiquities


Boris Groys

Our time is often characterized as an epoch of accelerated speed. Everything seems to happen ever faster: travel, commercial deals, information exchange. But whatever can be said in general about the speed of our contemporary civilization there is at least one process that has accelerated during the recent years in a very obvious, uncontestable way — the process of forgetting. Trends, topics, events, and fashions disappear from contemporary memory at a speed that was unthinkable even 20 years ago. This acceleration of forgetting has to do, among many other things, with the disappearance — precisely 20 years ago — of the Soviet Union that obstinately and desperately kept the memory of 19th-century Marxism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the process of forgetting was liberated from this last historical obstacle and Soviet Communism itself became a part of the new, modern-day antiquity. Today, the Cold War seems to take its historical place beside the Trojan War. The traces of Soviet civilization were successfully and at the highest possible speed erased from the surface of Earth, including the former territory of the Soviet Union. Therefore it is only logical that Grisha Bruskin looked under the earth’s surface in an attempt to find there the hidden remnants of this ancient civilization. And of course it is also not accidental that the site of his archeological discovery was in Italy: Soviet antiquity is aesthetically connected to Greek and Roman antiquity. This connection is sport. Modern sport is the Renaissance for the masses. It is an attempt to realize

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Boris Groys

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the classicist ideal of humanity on a mass scale. Today, it is not art but sport that connects our culture to its ancient roots. On the other hand, our modern aesthetic sensibility rejects the classicist ideals of the beautiful body and heroic pose as kitsch. That is why Soviet official art that stayed in this classicist tradition and glorified mass enthusiasm seems so intimidating and kitschy. But why don’t the “original” remnants of Greek and Roman antiquity look as kitschy as their Classicist, Soviet, or Nazi re-enactments? The answer is obvious enough: the Greek and Roman sculptures came to us already damaged and disfigured. That is why they satisfy our postJudeo-Christian desire to see all idols overturned and destroyed. Our sport glorifies the winners, our art loves the losers. In this way two great sources of Western civilization are peacefully re-territorialized in our contemporary culture. Bruskin, like every true artist, tries to resist forgetting and imports the past into contemporaneity. But as a modern artist he knows that this operation is possible only if the past is not simply copied or revived but presented in a damaged, distorted form–the process of forgetting being allegorically represented by the visible signs of fragmentation and decay. Thus, Bruskin imitates the archaeological practice of dealing with antique art by unearthing the sculptures made in a “Soviet” manner — the sculptures that he himself produced and buried before he “discovered” and displayed them. This imitation is at the same time a parody. The artist reveals here not only the artificial, constructed character of Soviet art that claimed to depict the Soviet people as they truly were, he also ironically comments on the widespread discourse on memory that is supposed to be rediscovered through traces that accumulate themselves on the surface and in the material substance of things. Martin Heidegger, in his The Origin of the Work of Art, describes Van Gogh’s image of a pair of shoes as such a manifestation of memory: these


worn out, damaged shoes are for Heidegger the authentic witnesses of one’s earthly life of labor and loss. But what if these shoes were worn out artificially — without ever being used? Then the memory effect would also be artificially produced. The past is our invention — and we can simulate the traces of damage and decay as professionally as we produce the effects of immaculate freshness. In this sense the whole archaeology of antiquity becomes a specific field of modern and contemporary art. And we don’t really need to wait until the destructive forces of nature produce an authentically damaged image of our past. We can produce the same effect much faster, at high speed. In fact when Bruskin was still living in the USSR, in 1980s Moscow, he presented Soviet reality as already a thing of the past — already worn out, on the verge of disappearance. Bruskin’s famous painting Fundamental Lexicon (1986), in a sense the key to the artist’s later work, depicts pale, spectral, motionless human figures holding colored signs and images. These figures serve as allegories of Communism, labor, art, Judaism, love, and so on — reminding us of Baroque figures allegorizing Church or Justice. But Bruskin’s allegorical figures are even more standardized and at the same time anemic, almost fleshless. Their individual features are blurred, they function as specters of “typical representatives” of certain classes or groups of the Soviet population  — young girls, soldiers, workers, intellectuals, artists. Bruskin’s figures are placed in an abstract, “undead” space of ideological signifiers — in the twilight zone between image and hieroglyph. In this sense Bruskin’s Fundamental Lexicon already has a quasi-archaeological dimension: it reminds us of Egyptian hieroglyphs waiting to be deciphered.. But the deciphering never happens. Instead of this, one system of allegories is translated into another system of allegories. When an allegory is explained by an allegory, the direct meaning eludes us, becoming unfindable, nonexistent, opaque.

Soviet Antiquities

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Boris Groys

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The greatest theoretician of allegory in the twentieth century was Walter Benjamin. His interest in allegory was dictated by the same reasons that led Bruskin to allegory. Just as Bruskin perceives himself primarily as a Soviet Jew, so Benjamin perceived himself as “a Jew in Marxism.” The theory of allegory was formulated by Benjamin in his famous book The Origins of German Tragic Drama. The allegory for Benjamin is a means of showing the transitory, declining, and doomed character of everything that exists. Allegory does not flatter things. In allegory, things show themselves as being half-dead, mutilated, dilapidated, waning. And it is their feebleness and dead schematism that allows them to appear as letters, to become part of the Messianic text. Benjamin wrote: “While in the symbol one can glimpse the transformed face of Nature, illuminated by the light of Salvation, allegory … shows the face of History, in which is pictured everything untimely, unsuccessful, and suffering there is in it from its beginning.” Also: “This is the essence of the allegorical view, the baroque exhibition of history as the history of suffering in the world; this history is significant only when it is understood as stages of the world’s decay. … But if nature is inherently doomed to die, then it is inherently allegorical.” The inevitability of death is understood here in a positive way: allegory allows us to use the things of nature in order to speak about history. The human body inexorably deteriorates and falls apart — that is the endpoint of any biography. Empires crumble and collapse along with their monuments, institutions, symbols, rituals, and hierarchies — those are the endpoints of history. Pagans are proud when they build new temples, palaces, and machines. Benjamin called this type of hope mythological. Only disbelief in the possibility of a radical renewal of the world opens up the way to another hope — the hope that it will be Messianically overcome. The world is inherently obsolete. It is inherently in decay. But it is that obsolescence and


decrepitude that gives the world the possibility to become the allegory of salvation and liberation. The world’s inherent old age makes it too weak to hold back those who follow the Messianic vow and want to be liberated from the world. That is why Benjamin constantly insists on the world’s weakness, mutilation, illness, and age — in them he sees the only chance for salvation. In that sense, Bruskin’s “Soviet” works are emphatically Benjaminian. In these works, the halfdestroyed, pale figures  — the “ghosts of Communism  — that awkwardly stumble on Earth seem already “unworldly.” Of course, Bruskin captures the atmosphere of the period of stagnation, the decadent “late” Communism, characteristic of the 1970s and 80s in the Soviet Union. But he regards this decline of imperial greatness without gloating and even with compassion. He recognizes that he himself is part of that process of decline. And at the same time he observes the process of decline of the Soviet Empire from the perspective of the Old Testament, which promises the decline and fall of all empires. But primarily he is fascinated with the aesthetic side of this decline  — with the aesthetics of decline as such. And it is this fascination that brings him now to reenact this decline as an artistic performance — 20 years after it happened as a historical fact. Marx famously said that history can be repeated only as a (involuntary) parody. Bruskin repeats it as conscious parody, e.g. as art. What was once history returns as an artistic event, as a performance.

Soviet Antiquities

Pages 42–43: Fundamental Lexicon. Part 1. 1985. Oil on linen. Collection of Milos Forman. USA Pages 44–45: Fundamental Lexicon. Part 2. 1986. Oil on linen. Private collection. German


Fetishes of Impoverished Experience


Mikhail Iampolski

“The dead Don Quixote wants to kill the dead Don Quixote, but in order to kill him, he must find a living spot somewhere, and he looks with his sword, as relentlessly as it is in vain.” Franz Kafka

Fame came to Grisha (Grigory Davidovich) Bruskin with his painting Fundamental Lexicon (1986), which in many ways determined the artist’s future development. This enormous painting consisted of eight rows of small paintings (16 to a row), depicting on a gray background individual white figures resembling sculptures, standing on a dark-green “hillock,” with mountain peaks beyond. Each figure held a colored attribute, similar to those held by saints in old paintings — St. Peter has keys, St. Catherine a wheel, and so on. This is how the artist described the painting in 1986: “The painting ‘Fundamental Lexicon’ represents a collection in which each character is an archetype of the ideological Soviet myth: Pioneer, worker, doctor, patient, prisoner, soldier, and so on. All the characters gaze forward. They all have the same expression of anxious amazement. … Each figure has an accessory, colored and more real than the person. The accessory names the character, gives him a name.” The meaning of this lexicon, thanks to the artist, is usually reduced to a creation of an infinitely expanding collection of mythologems of the field of Soviet culture, a kind of description of the elements that compose the Soviet system of elements.

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This Soviet iconostasis astounds in its profound triviality. The soccer player has a ball, the chess player has chess pieces, the violinist a violin, the Pioneer girl a globe or ball, the artist a palette, and so on. Bruskin explains his depiction of the characters as “Soviet sculpturomania” and the desire “to reanimate antiquity,” which is degraded in the Soviet cultural space and turned into kitsch. “In the spaces of the Lexicon we discover something that is no longer sculpture and certainly not human, but a model, example, an archetypal standard.” Yevgeny Barabanov suggested that before us are not sculptures but ideas. The “poverty,” the triviality of the lexicons may in that case be understood not simply as a reflection of the triviality of Soviet culture, but also as the poverty of the idea. The farther into the past “Lexicon” recedes and the more works emerge in its wake, the less, in my view, does the lexicon appear to be a mythological collection. The structure of that old work is retained in many way in subsequent works, but in many other ways it is transformed. Two aspects are definitely preserved — the underlined isolation of the figure or several figures and the serial nature of these elements, which are inserted in long rows of similar forms. But the context of the “Lexicon” changes, and correspondingly so does its meaning. It seems to me that Bruskin’s characters inhabit this strange zone of changing relations, of experience vanishing and reappearing. Thus the figures in his family photo archive (book “Yours Truly”) move from the area of the intimate and “familial” to the zone of the completely alien and indeterminate, moving from I to It. The transition is always difficult to notice and unstable. But the same can be said for the “inhabitants” of the Lexicon. If we think, for example, about the meaning of the colored accessories given to these white figures by the artist, it is not difficult to notice that the characters of the Lexicon have an unstable ontology. The oar is more “real” here than the

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

Opposite: Fundamental Lexicon. Part 1. 1985. Oil on linen. Fragment. Collection of Milos Forman. USA

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Mikhail Iampolski

1. Marcel Proust. Du côté de chez Swann. Paris, Gallimard, 1954, p. 58.

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female athlete, the drum more real than the drummer. That makes sense. For it is the accessory that gives definition to the character: “names the character, gives him a name.” It has heightened definitiveness. The figures with the accessories are indeterminate, somewhat similar to one another, stocky, identically dressed. It is constructed as if the drum were extracting the white figure (and whiteness here is a sign of semi-materiality) from nonexistence and attempting (not very successfully) to fix it in the world. In part this also applies to the angels and demons of Alefbet, ontologically intermediate figures between divine and earthly. The same holds for the indefinite figure of Grandfather Manya on the photograph, the ancestor Bruskin has never seen. All that remains of him is an accessory: “a walking stick with an ivory handle that depicts deer in the mountains,” giving this fading figure of someone else’s memory a hook in the reality of our experience — in Buber’s It. The walking stick resembles Proust’s madeleine, tying memory to a banal but extremely material experience. Proust wrote that he agreed with the ideas of the Celts that the souls of the dead settle into objects and linger there until we accidentally break the spell. Our past, he felt, was hidden beyond the boundaries of your reason, “in a material object (in the feeling that the material object can give us and that we do not suspect).” 1 When the madeleine awakens memories of Combray in Marcel, Proust characterizes the elicited sensation as “ isolated and without understanding its own cause.” Isolation from context allows the material object to switch modality  — to move from perception to recollection, from It to Thou. In that sense, Bruskin’s figures resemble those the ancient mnemonic treatises recommended placing in imaginary spaces in order to relate them to what needed to be memorized. Some Renaissance authors recommended placing what is to be remembered in loci along the Zodiac or spheres of the universe, thereby turning a mnemonic system into a world


system (something similar happens in Bruskin). In the mnemonic treatise of Johannes Romberch (1520) the “place of memory” was depicted as a square with an isolated human figure inside, just like Bruskin’s Lexicon. 2 The serial nature of Bruskin’s pictures re-creates the serial nature of the mnemonic rows. Frances Yates noted the use of alphabets (lexicons, which like primers associated letters with pictures) as mnemonic systems. She also brings up the allegory of grammar as a mnemonic picture in which a woman with accessories strongly resembles the figures in Bruskin’s Lexicon. 3 Let me remind you, by the way, that Saint Augustine in the tenth volume of his Confessions seeks God in the depths of his memory, which is described as a conglomerate of places (for example, as a row of caves), inhabited by images. The ontological status of these memory images is uncertain. This allows Bruskin in his Jewish lexicons (Alefbets) to see transcendent images in the figures. Buber characterizes the images of artistic imagination, comparable to memory images and directly related to divine ones, as follows: “The form that confronts me I cannot experience nor describe; I can only actualize it. And yet I see it, radiant in the splendor of the confrontation, far more clearly than all clarity of the experienced world. Not as a thing among the ‘internal’ things, not as a figment of the ‘imagination,’ but as what is present. Tested for its objectivity, the form is not ‘there’ at all; but what can equal its presence.” 4 This image expresses the presence of the missing object. And this relates directly to Bruskin’s works, in which the white figures are persistently present and are marked by the signs of pure fictiveness — absence. The characters of Bruskin's lexicons, in my view, are not archetypes of social mythologems primarily because they are empty, devoid of content, and merely attach themselves to the attributes, while having no semantic content. Like the mnemonic figures, they are only structure (or place — locus), ready to accept a changing content that will actualize them.

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

2. Frances A. Yates. The Art of Memory. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1966, p. 118.

3. Ibid, pl. 6a.

4. Martin Buber. I and Thou, p. 61.

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5. Walter Benjamin. Selected Writings, v. 2. Cambridge, Mass., Belknap Press, 1999, p. 732.

6. Ibid., p. 733.

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The characters of the Fundamental Lexicon are images of indefinite and impersonal memory, related to well-known attributes of Soviet life, which try through their materiality to summon them into the present. How are we to understand the existence of these impersonal figures, existing in the zone of indeterminacy between personal and collective memory? A partial answer to this question may be found in Walter Benjamin’s marvelous “Experience and Poverty” (1933). Here Benjamin (and he repeats his conclusions in a 1936 essay, “The Storyteller,” about Leskov) maintains that the generation of people who went through the First World War (1914–1918) lost experience instead of gaining it, as evidenced by the silence of those who returned from the front. After the events of war and revolution we have entered a period of poverty of experience, which he calls the “new barbarism,” when the past ceases to be part of experience, and everything starts as if anew (compare with Proust’s strange characterization of memory as “isolated and without understanding of its own cause”). Past experience has faded and is not subject to rebirth, and that which we encounter as the past, wrote Benjamin, “is not rebirth but galvanization.” 5 The ghosts that inhabit our world (as in Ensor’s paintings) are impoverished, aura-less corpses deprived of their memory by the Lethe. Socialism appears in the garments of impoverished experience. The past is destroyed here, canceled. The abundance of statues produced by the Soviet Union merely attest to the disappearance of the past. Those statues were not commemorative, that is, they were not tied to events of the past, but were either empty abstractions (freedom, victory, etc.) or were associated with a total loss of memory, for example, the girl with the oar in a park: commemorations of nothing. Commemorations without memory. Benjamin quotes Brecht’s remark that “communism is not the just distribution of wealth but of poverty,” 6 the poverty of experience. Benjamin’s friend


Ernst Bloch in his essay “The Production of the Ornament” developed Benjamin’s themes, maintaining that the machine functionality of our civilization made it pointless to pass along human experience: “We have forgotten it, our hands have unlearned how to dabble.” 7 The disappearance of the human, rooted in knowing how to do things, leads to the same barbarism, the appearance of faceless fetishes and idols: “Loss of taste, the intended beginning of the primitive, that which is purely objective function no longer leads to the beautiful old land we were used to.” 8 He is talking about the loss of expressivity, which is related in one way or another to experience. In such cultures a semblance of muteness develops, because everything in it is reduced to pure function, which is akin to Benjamin’s poverty: “A chair is only meant to sit on; it merely refers to the resting person. And a statue is made to be looked at, or rather it rests upon itself, is concerned with it own glory, and is indifferent toward all relations that are part of the surrounding life.” 9 I believe this statement can help us understand much in the quality of Bruskin’s white, neutral figures. They are figures of impoverished experience, having lost the ability to express and thirsting, as we will see, to acquire expression. They express nothing, they are devoid of style, they do not bear the imprint of an individual creator, it is as if they were made on an assembly line. 10 They “rest upon themselves,” indifferent to the attitude of the life around them. They are isolated, and therefore can become figures of the lexicon, an alphabet that has fallen out of speech relations and syntagms. And, of course, they embody the state of the new barbarism, in which the poverty of experience is “distributed.” Soviet park statues are an ideal example of figures of impoverished experience. They are memorials without memory, without past. And yet, they somehow fix the time, the era. I think that statues are the ideal objects for such a sterile culture.

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

7. Ernst Bloch. The Utopian Function of Art and Literature. Cambridge, Mass.,  The MIT Press, 1988, p. 78.

8. Ibid., p. 84.

9. The figures of imagination of Alefbet are the opposite of figures of impoverished experience, but they are directly related to the impoverishment of experience that opens the way into the imaginary.

10. Karl Abraham. On Character and Libido Development. New York, Norton, 1966, p. 100.

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Let me try to explain. Figures of impoverished experience, that is, figures of silence, are directly related to trauma. People who came back from the front lost “experience” and speech not because they had experienced nothing but because their experience lay outside the expressible, that is, the very thing we call experience. In Buber’s terms, It, which belonged in the area of experience, suddenly abruptly shifted toward complete immanence. Let me repeat, “Tested for its objectivity, the form is not ‘there’ at all; but what can equal its presence?” The object itself is not present, there is the pure form of presence. Something similar could be said about any trauma, pushed out of consciousness — the image, the object is not in the memory, but its presence is extremely intense. Bruskin’s figures, as much as it is possible for them, express this state of simultaneous absence and presence. On the one hand, they are not there — they are faceless ghosts — but on the other hand, the very material inertness of the statue makes the ghost present. In the old days, when the first “lexicons” were compiled, the idea of painting statues played an important role, since it stressed the ephemerality of the stone ones. 11 Gradually, however, Bruskin took up sculpture more actively, and it is now central in his work. This transition to sculpture is significant. Psychoanalysts have noted that the trauma of losing someone close can lead to the phenomenon of introjection, “devouring” the person, holding on to him. Introjection can lead to melancholy, fixation on the loss, but it also plays an important role in the formation of the superego. For example, a deceased father can be introjected into the son or daughter and become an internal apparatus, a place that dictates behavior. In that case, we can speak of the interiorization of the dead person by the living. According to Karl Abraham, introjection can take the form of incorporation — an almost cannibalistic devouring of the deceased’s body. Incorporation often takes sadistic forms: “In the biting stage of the

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

11. Julia Kristeva. Soleil noir. Dépression et mélancholie. Paris, Gallimard, 1987, p. 54.

Opposite: Fundamental Lexicon. Part 2. 1985. Oil on linen. Fragment. Private collection. Germany

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Mikhail Iampolski

12. Jacques Derrida. Fors: The Anguish Words of Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok. — In: Nicolas Abraham, Maria Torok. The Wolf Man’s Magic Word: A Cryptonymy. Minneapolis, The University of Minnesota Press, 1986, p. XXI

13. Michel Serres. Statues. Le second livre des fondations. Paris, François Bourin, 1987, p. 51

14. Giorgio Agamben. Enfance et histoire. Paris, Payot, 2000, p. 104. Recently Agamben returned to this theme, tying it to the motif of spectrality: “There is also another type of spectrality that we may call larval, which is born from not accepting its own condition, from forgetting it so as to pretend at all costs that it still has bodily weight and flesh.” Giorgio Agamben. Nudities. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2011, p. 40.

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oral phase the individual incorporates the object in himself and in so doing destroys it. [...] This is the stage in which cannibalistic impulses predominate. As soon as the child is attracted by an object, it is liable, indeed bound, to attempt its destruction.” 12 Abraham’s follower Melanie Klein developed his theory on the aggression of early stages of incorporation of lost objects. These processes can be related to the acquisition of memory and experience, with their interiorization. For the loss of a loved one, death, in principle can be source of experience, and melancholy, as we know, can be the source of creativity. It’s no accident that in the past melancholy (grieving for someone) was considered a quality of geniuses and artists. The situation is changing in modern times, if Benjamin is to be believed. The trauma of loss is interiorized in a different way. Julia Kristeva believes that melancholy leads to a loss of meaning, to asymbolia: “As if I had become incapable of translation and metaphorization, I fall silent and die.” 13 The lost object is placed into a kind of capsule, that the French philosophers Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok call a “crypt,” that is, an immured vault. The incorporated person is preserved alive in the crypt, and the individual avoids melancholy. The living dead is kept in the person, not interjected, not becoming part of his experience. He becomes a secret for the individual, fully excluded from his consciousness, but also inaccessible to the subconscious, as well. Derrida called this an “exclusive inclusion.” “The inhabitant of a crypt is always a living dead, one we are willing to keep, as long as we keep it, within us, intact in any way save as living.” 14 This strange incorporated body is excluded from experience, has no meaning, but is nevertheless a burdening presence. It is mute, its presence is not verbalized (hidden in the crypt which resembles a “place” in artificial memory or a frame inside Bruskin’s lexicon). This body embodies the excluded trau-


ma of loss, in which experience vanished along with the trauma. The philosopher Michel Serres called this buried, mute basis a “statue.” A statue for Serres is a corpse that has become an object but is still unnamed, unsymbolized, existing outside and before the sphere of language. For him the idol is the basis from which speech emerges: “speech from another basis breaks them, hides them, tramples them, puts them to death, so that they can frighten us as ghosts,” 15 he wrote. That is why figures of vanishing experience and approaching muteness, figures that have lost expressivity appear to us in the form of statues — resting in themselves and detached from reality. These statues are corpses that have miraculously escaped death. The Romans called them half-dead larvae — a frightening, vague creature that exists in the world of the living without belonging to it. It is a corpse before burial. Culture always tries to soothe this creature, to find a place for it. Giorgio Agamben wrote: “The larva, the unstable signifier between synchrony and diachrony, is transformed into lare, the mask and graven image of the ancestor which, as a stable signifier, guarantees the continuity of the system.” 16 Sculpture is the result of turning the deceased into a corpse, who can be rooted in memory and family tradition. For me, Bruskin’s figures are statues still closed tied to the indeterminacy of larvae. The statues of the Soviet period — especially the abstract workers, students, kolkhoz workers and athletes  — are of course not inhabitants of secret crypts, but their oppressive presence is a sign of total semantic erasure, loss, the disappearance of experience and history. They exist pre speech, pre signs — actually before allegories and mythologems — they are signs of no memory, trauma, encased in a crypt. And in this quality they exist between memory and amnesia, which is growing into the culture of the new barbarism. The theory of the crypts allows us to understand the appearance of figures out of the destruction of

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

15. Boris Groys. “Allegoricheskii chelovek (Allegorical Man).” In Grisha Bruskin. Alefbet. Shpalera. Moscow, Pushkin State Museum, 2006, p. 13.

16. Victor Stochita. The Self-Aware Image. An Insight into Early Modern Meta-Painting. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 121–122.

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Mikhail Iampolski

17. “Cooling graves” is an image from the poetry of Konstantin Balmont, revived in our time by Venedikt Erofeyev, who quoted it in Zapiski psikhopata.

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references, signifiers, excluded traumas, which they “symbolize” (although in the case the word does not express the essence of what is happening). Boris Groys, discussing the connection of Bruskin’s art simultaneously with the traditions of Judaism and the Soviet canon, expressed the supposition that the foundation of this connection lies in iconoclasm, which he sees in Christianity as well: “The iconoclastic ban, which Christianity continued to follow, was integrated into the Christian tradition through depiction of the suffering on the Cross and subsequent death of Christ. You could say that Christianity made the destruction of the icon the very subject of the icon. In Christianity iconoclasm becomes an artistic method.” 17 It seems to me that the pathos (endurance, suffering) of Bruskin’s images is fundamentally tied to the figure of impoverished experience. The Swiss art historian Victor Stochita studied a popular seventeenth-century painting genre — Cabinets of Curiosity, Cabinets d’Amateur, Wunder und Kunstkammer. These strange pictures were painted catalogs of collections of works of art. They depicted numerous paintings and sculptures that belonged to various art collectors. Stochita showed that these painted catalogs were built as a system of artificial memory. The miniature paintings depicted in them served as “memory spaces.” A number of these Cabinets of Curiosity depict strange canvases of creatures with the heads of animals rampaging inside kunstkammers, ruthlessly destroying paintings and sculptures. Usually, these amazing imagined works sprinkled into “real” collections were interpreted as criticism of iconoclasm. Stochita wittily tied them to Lambert Schenkelius’s mnemonic treatise Gazophylacium Artis Memoriae (1611), which discussed the “dialectic” of constructing and destroying images in the context of memory. Schenkelius posed the question: what should a man do when he has used his painting collection as a mnemonic aid, associating


each “space” with an image. He proposed the following solution: “Picture one or more angry and furious (turbulenti et furiosi) people rushing into the room armed with weapons and breaking the paintings into pieces, throwing them on the floor.” 18 The imaginary iconoclasts clear the memory of associations, of “content,” to use Benjamin’s language, make experience “impoverished” and re-establish the barbarism of unconsciousness, thereby preparing images for a new work of remembering. Stochita’s observations help us better understand the status of some images that appear as bearers of the destruction of references, memories, as figures of unconsciousness. They appear in an aura of sadistic, destructive impulse. Basically, their generation is directly tied to the destruction of memory, which they must suppress, push out, destroy. Hence the sadism toward themselves, the passion of selfdestruction, and purging of experience that refers back to Abraham’s cannibalism of incorporation or Klein’s sadism. They are directly related to fetishes, too, which as Freud showed, refer to the gesture of castration, absence, which they are called upon to hide but instead merely make importunately present. I think that Bruskin’s faceless figures are just such fetishes, memorials to unconsciousness. It is telling that in recent years Bruskin has created many sculptural figures harkening back to the “archetypes” of his painted lexicons. Many of these figures are depicted in ruins. Bruskin wrote that the Fundamental Lexicon, following the destruction of an era, turned into the ruins of the Archaeologist’s Collection. The Archaeologist, like Hubert Robert, aesthetized the collection, not forgetting that “death like life is beautiful and the ‘cooling graves’ are majestic.” 19 The artist has started to speak about the eschatological nature of his new collections, the Wagnerian “death of the gods.” He called his recent New York show “Twilight of the Gods.” But I tend to think that the passion of self-destruction is writ-

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

18. “In the poem about the statue, the sign (signum) becomes the theme or the denoted object (signatum).” Roman Jakobson, op cit., p. 166.

19. Interestingly, in the Alefbet series Bruskin is moving from painting to tapestry, which also has a heightened materiality of facture.

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ten into Bruskin’s figures not in the context of an apocalypse, the end of time, but as a trace of their birth out of the destruction of memory, meaning, and experience. Expressivity in Bruskin’s latest sculpture, which does sometimes manifest itself in an expressionist gesture (as in the figure of the man in a gas mask being destroyed), most often takes the form of a profoundly inner contradiction, for example, the indeterminacy of the relationship between “signifier” and 20 “signified,” which both Jakobson  and Agamben pointed out. In the lexicons, the sculptures (signum) become the objects of painterly depiction (signatum). In sculptures, however, this slide is much more complicated. The sculptures manifest themselves as the materialization of the white painted ghosts that were brought to life by their colored attributes. Sculptures are the materialization of phantoms. Bruskin makes his sculptures primarily in bronze which he then buries underground, so that they take on the “patina of time” and come to resemble stone, or he uses white paint, imitating plaster. This imitation of sculpture in sculpture has a substantive meaning. The breaks on his figures are possible only in stone or plaster, not in bronze. Plaster or stone thus becomes signatum, depicted in bronze (signum). This operation in itself turns the tradition of simulacra inside out, which according to Baudrillard is most fully manifested in the use of stucco, which can be used without great expense to imitate both metal and stone. Yet Bruskin at great expense imitates stucco in bronze. The strangeness of sliding from signifier to signified is also reflected in the structure of time in the sculptures. The fragile, ephemeral (plaster) is represented in the “eternal” — bronze. Two times are thus joined into an antithetical temporal pair. But this conjunction is not at all ecstatic, as in the expressive spasms described by Eisenstein.

Fetishes of Impoverished Experience

20. Jean Baudrillard. Simvolicheskii obmen i smert’ (Symbolic Exchange and Death). Moscow, Dobrosvet, 2000, pp. 114–118.

Opposite: Fundamental Lexicon. Part 2. 1985. Oil on linen. Fragment. Private collection. Germany

Translated by Antonina W. Bouis

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Archaeologist’s Collection Sketch


Archaeologist’s Collection Sketch. 2001–2003. Painted bronze. Height of the sculptures from 16 to 85 cm. Installation in Meyerovich Gallery. San Francisco, 2004

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How the Archaeologist’s Collection should be exhibited


Grisha Bruskin

Space The installation imitates real archaeological digs. The viewers have to get the impression that a true archaeological pit is before their eyes. The walls of the space are painted black. The floor is covered with earth. In the indentations in the earth the sculptures are placed — the ruined archetypes and symbols of the Soviet empire, dug out of the Tuscan earth. The figures are lying on their backs, with their faces turned to the heavens. The installation objects are positioned horizontally, in a specific order, like a felled universum: first, the USSR’s coat of arms — the set sun. Below, follow the planets and the stars — the symbols of the empire. Still further below is positioned Soviet humanity (the super-humans). All around, crudely built scaffold platforms are erected. The viewers look down at the “digs” from the height of the scaffolding. Stairs descend from the platforms. Wooden bridges are erected between the archaeological objects. The visitors can go down and view the installation artifacts in closer detail. The scaffolds, the stairs, and the bridges are painted dark gray (the color of coal). L i gh t i n g The overhead light is completely turned off. The scaffolding platforms are lit by light bulbs placed in special boxes. The earth is lit in a contrasting manner, via projectors with cold sideways light, resembling moonlight. The destroyed archetypes and symbols of the Soviet empire are picked off from the dark by a warm light, like ghosts. Soun d The exhibit is accompanied by a muted noise background, acting as the secret voice of Existence itself, which is revealing itself via the emptiness and the horror of Nothingness. Mon i tors In the adjacent space monitors are placed, which show videos with commentaries: the process of unearthing, the investigation of the time patina, and the recovery of lost fragments of the sculptures. 75


Project of the Archaeologist’s Collection installation in the Udarnik

Udarnik. Longitudinal section. BERNASKONI 2013

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Udarnik. Blueprint of the second floor. BERNASKONI 2013

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Excavation of the sculptures Archaeologist’s Collection

Tuscany, November of 2009


An Archaeologist’s Collection


Grisha Bruskin

Lo n g- Lon g A go Long-long ago, living in the Soviet Union I thought that the Soviet Empire, like the reign of the Egyptian pharaohs, would last for millennia. I believed that the country was surrounded by an impermeable iron curtain, the Soviet Army was invincible, and the KGB was ubiquitous. Getting into a philosophical frame of mind, I figured: “This too shall pass.” The end of history, the end of time would come. Some people imagined the last moment to be the invasion of Gog and Magog, Avadon, Armageddon, the Antichrist, the riders of the Apocalypse, and the Messiah. Others imagined incredible tsunamis, new Pompeiis, another Ice Age, universal famine, and nuclear war. By the way, the last scenario had looked quite possible already once in my lifetime. The American art critic Robert Storr wrote in A Hard Rain Is a-Gonna Fall “… such thoughts have been just below the surface of my generation’s consciousness for as far back as we can remember. We — and I include the artist (Grisha Bruskin) in that cohort — are the generation after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the generation of nuclear brinksmanship and the Cuban missile crisis — how vividly I recall the expressions on adult faces at the dinner table the evening when it seemed that we would all go up in smoke, expressions no doubt mirrored on adult faces at Moscow dinner tables.” Thus, the moment will come: history will end, life will vanish. And it will be reborn in five or six thousand years. Future humans, as in days gone by, will 133


Grisha Bruskin

love ruins. They will sing the praises once again of the “the majesty of cooling graves.” The coming archaeologist will start digging up vestiges and rack his brains over the mysteries of ancient civilizations. I decided to write an epistolary painting for the humans of the future.

T h e Si l enc e o f t he B o y s I remember how as a child I had a strange passion for composing and mailing letters into the void: to mysterious unknowns in mysterious countries. I was lured into magical places by postage stamps, which I collected back then. I wheedled them out of the young girls who delivered mail. They appeared from the side of Kursk Train Station and moved toward Krasnye Vorota. At Zemlyanoi Val, they turned onto our Kazakov Street. The postal workers came inside the buildings and distributed the letters into mailboxes. I lurked in doorways and gateways, hiding from my competitors, the other boys. “Lady, do you have any stamps? Foreign ones, too?” The softhearted lady ripped off the treasure with a scrap of envelope and handed it to me. The first foreign stamp was Hungarian. At home, having had my fill of contemplating the stamp, I decided that it was a mirror world and obviously, as clear as day, in unknown Hungary there lived a boy, my double, with whom I had to make friends urgently. I picked up a pen and started writing in violet ink: “Dear little boy, I’m seven years old like you, and like you I’m in first grade class C, and like you I’m in the desk in the next to last row to the left of the aisle. Let’s be friends and correspond.” After a consultation with my grandmother, I folded up the letter into a makeshift triangular envelope “from the front line,” and too young to know the work of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, wrote: Hungary, School No. 325. “Grandma, will it get there without

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a stamp?” “Of course, of course. It did during the war and so it will now,” my grandmother assured me irresponsibly, glancing up at me for a second with her enormous eye — the other lens was pasted over with heavy paper — and immediately immersed herself again in her beloved Jane Eyre or maybe The Woman in White. I dropped the paper triangle in the mailbox across from our house, near the cast-iron gates of the Physical Culture Institute. And began waiting. My Hungarian friend did not respond. I was worried. Then an enemy boy from the next building, whose mother worked at the post office, started teasing me and grimacing and gesturing, repeated the contents of my frontline triangle. I realized that I had been betrayed and the villainous postal family had swiped my private message. But I did not give up, I wrote more letters: to an unknown Canadian boy, an unknown English boy, an unknown Italian boy, and an unknown French boy… The boys kept silent.

An Archaeologist’s Collection

M an of th e F uture As a grown-up thirty-year-old man, I once again took up my childhood passion for writing letters into the beyond. I wrote the Fundamental Lexicon, an epistolary painting for the distant Nowhere. At the time, I wrote about it this way: “The painting Fundamental Lexicon is a collection in which each character is an archetype of the Soviet ideological myth: the Pioneer, the worker, the doctor, the patient, the prisoner, the solider, and so forth. All the characters look straight ahead. Their faces show the same expression: an anxious astonishment. Like Lot’s wife who looked back into the forbidden past and turned at once into a pillar of salt, so my heroes, looking too far into the forbidden future, turned into collector’s items. Each figure has an ac-

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Grisha Bruskin

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cessory, which is colored and more real than the person himself. The accessory defines the character, gives him a name. “Working on the collection, I was like an entomologist who catches butterflies and puts them out with ether. Then he straightens their wings and fastens them with pins. After this he arranges his treasures in boxes, affixing texts that describe and classify them. Possessing such a collection, we get information about the nature of butterflies. We see that they have bodies, wings and antennae, tiny eyes and legs. We learn that butterflies come in different sizes and colors, depending on what they eat and where they live, whether they are active in daylight or at night. We can compare them to other insects, to beetles or dragonflies. And finally we can get aesthetic pleasure from them, because of their extraordinary beauty.” I formulated my task this way: “My idea was to send a message to the man of the future. To propose that he look at my art the same way that we look at the art of ancient Egypt in the Louvre or the Hermitage. But the message that I sent would have to be false and deceptive, since the true artifact of the communist myth was the art that had created that myth: the art of socialist realism. Deciphering this mystery, the future Champollion (the scholar who figured out the secret of Egyptian hieroglyphics) would gain important knowledge both of the myth and the world beyond it, just as he would delight in the wisdom of the code-maker.” Then I continued: “But history had a surprise in store for us: the historical magician waved his wand and in the twinkling of an eye Russia’s communist pyramid came crashing down. The circle closed. The man of the future turned out to be me: that is, I received my own message.”


Ruins of a D am age d Empi r e

An Archaeologist’s Collection

Thus, I understood that the future had tricked me by showing up so swiftly. I decided not to wait this time. I got into a time machine and headed into that promised distance through the thickness of millennia right to the archaeological dig of a mysterious civilization unknown to people of the future. What I saw astonished me. Before my eyes arose the ruins of the damaged civilization. The fundamental lexicon of a lost civilization. I contemplated the remains of the best people turned to dust and ashes: 1. half a general with an unfired continental missile; 2. a Pioneer in a tank helmet who had lost along with his arms a mine labeled “for the Reichstag”; 3. a poisoner-doctor of Soviet people with a chart of the blood circulation of a doomed person; 4. a maimed border guard with binoculars trained on a treacherous spy who violated the border, the iron curtain; 5. a lost border dog without legs or master; 6. a bandaged boy saved by Soviet medicine; 7. an acephalous teacher with the silhouette of Genghis Khan; 8. a Pioneer, the foremother of the Soviet people, who dropped her Glory of Motherhood order; 10. a rusted bureaucrat with no identifying marks; 11. an incognito in gas mask and a burning house — symbol of a dying homeland; 12. a marshal who lost the map of the victory of the Soviet Army over the Nazi invaders; 13. the torso of a Soviet Olympic Golem with the magic tetragram “USSR” not wiped off his broad chest; 14. a pensioner separated from Lenin’s Mausoleum; 15. the head of a young naturalist in a lemur’s embrace;

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16. a Pioneer leader with her loudspeaker silenced forever; 17. a fossilized boy with a model airplane; 18. a resident of the Gulag who never did manage to be “released with a clean conscience:” 19. a worker who dropped a fire extinguisher; 20. an eternally happy girl-butterfly; 21. a Viking boy without the depiction of war ships; 22. a bride without a groom; 23. and a groom without a bride…

An Archaeologist’s Collection

Above overthrown humanity glowed dimmed stars and planets — magical decans — emblems and symbols of the Soviet Empire. And reigning over all and flickering to this day was the mutilated sun — once the source of absolute light — the ruin of the emblem of the Soviet Union.

Certific ate of A uth e n t i ci t y And then I thought: the future is the unlived present. I should steal the majestic picture that was revealed to me and show it to my contemporaries. In order to do it, I took the heroes of Fundamental Lexicon and the emblems of Soviet civilization. Thirty-three. The number of letters in the Russian alphabet. Because it is believed that the world was created by the letters of the alphabet. I sculpted them lifesize. Then I smashed the sculptures. Then I put them back together from the broken pieces. Cast them in bronze. Buried them in Tuscany. Excavated them a few years later. And obtained a natural patina. I photographed the excavations and took video. Florentine archaeologists studied the molecular and atomic composition of the metal, thus giving me a certificate of authenticity.

Opposite: excavation of the sculptures Archaeologist’s Collection Tuscany, November of 2009

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Grisha Bruskin

T he T r u t h Why did I bury the sculptures in Italy? A brief historical annotation: the territory of Italy was once the powerful First Roman Empire, with Rome as its capital. The First Roman Empire lasted for approximately five hundred years until it perished from barbarian invasions. Then came the Second Roman Empire, Byzantium, which at a certain period included various Italian lands. Emperor Constantine moved the capital from Rome east to Byzantium and called it the Second Rome (subsequently Constantinople). Constantine made Christianity the state religion. The Second Roman Empire existed for close to a thousand years and perished from invasions by Crusaders and Turkic tribes. In the early sixteenth century, the monk Filofei (Philoteus), an elder of the Elizarov Monastery in Pskov, sent a panegyric letter to Prince Vasily III that formulated the concept of the Third Rome. He reasoned approximately this way: the Great Byzantine Empire was merely a vessel containing the Truth, the Lord’s Light. Byzantium betrayed Orthodoxy, the vessel shattered, and Truth moved to a new container — Russia. Henceforth Russia was the sacred chosen one. A reflection on earth of the Heavenly Kingdom. The Holy Third Roman Empire. And Moscow was the Third Rome. Filofei inscribed these famous words in his epistle: “So be aware, lover of God and Christ, that all Christian empires have come to an end and are gathered together in the singular empire of our sovereign in accordance with the books of prophecy, and this is the Roman kingdom: because two Romes have fallen, and a third stands, and a fourth there shall not be. […] all Orthodox kingdoms of the Christian faith have now merged into one, your state. You are the one true Christian ruler under the heavens! […] as I wrote to you above, so now I say: listen and remember, pious Tsar, that all Christian kingdoms have merged into your one kingdom, that two Romes have fallen, and a third stands, and fourth

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there shall not be. And your Christian kingdom will not be replaced by others, according to the word of the great Theologian.” The concept was accepted. The Russian great princes began calling themselves tsars, that is, Caesars, heirs of the Roman and Byzantine emperors, representatives of God on earth, and the country’s coat of arms incorporated the Byzantine doubleheaded eagle. The Third Rome lasted five hundred years and perished as a result of the Great Russian Revolution of 1917. During World War II, Stalin wanted to revive the idea of the Third Rome, to establish historical roots and further strengthen his already absolute power. In order to justify the repressions of his own reign, he commissioned filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein to make the ideological film Ivan the Terrible, to glorify the cruel tsar and his secret police, the oprichina. In the film the Russian tsar twice pronounces significantly the prophetic words of the Pskov monk Filofei declaring Moscow as the Third Rome.

An Archaeologist’s Collection

Tog e th e r F ore ve r But the Soviet Empire did not last, either. It fell like a house of cards in 1991. I decided to bring the shards of the Third Roman Empire to Italy, to bury them in the ground with the ruins of the First and Second Empires already reposing there. So that the Truth, liberated from vessels, would acquire freedom and now be present all over the world, sanctifying people whatever their geographical location.

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Archaeologist’s Collection Sculptures


State Emblem of USSR


Order of the Red Banner of Labor


Red Star


Medal with a Portrait of Stalin


Badge with Young model aircraft Constructors


Badge of the University


Symbol with Red Banner


Symbol with Propeller


Badge. Society of Friends of the Air Fleet


General with a Missile


Pioneer in Helmet


Doctor


Bandaged Boy


Border Guard


Dog


Schoolgirl


Bureaucrat


Man in Gas Mask


Marshal


Athlete


Schoolteacher


Young Naturalist


Pioneer Leader


Prisoner


Bride


Workman


Happy Childhood


Young Sailor


Groom


Airplane


Kalashnikov


Symbol of Medicine


Lenin’s Mausoleum


Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues


Marcello Miccio

We wanted to use metallurgical methods to study Grisha Bruskin’s bronze statues, which the foundry of Salvadori Arte in Pistoia had buried for 36 months in order to create a natural patina without direct use of chemical reagents. We did three types of special tests on the chemical and crystallographic composition of the patina to see its thickness and connection to the metallic matrix. 1) Raman Spectroscopy 2) Laser Induced Plasma Spectroscopy (LIPS) analysis 3) Optical metallography 1. Raman spectroscopy (optical laser observation on the molecular level) is becoming more recognized and valued for diagnostics in art. This interest is related to positive evaluations of the methods used by this technique to study the chemical composition of art materials. In particular, Raman spectroscopy is based on the scattering of light by the material that interacts with laser light and gives valuable information on the nature and structure of chemical bonds in the molecules of the material.

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1. Raman test results

Marcello Miccio

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Point 1 — A spot of reddish brown color: the Raman spectroscopy revealed the presence of molecular bands (marked *) typical for the mineral cuprite.

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Point 2 — spots of yellow-red color: the Raman band around 470 cm -1 (marked *) reveals the presence of sulfides. Because of the yellow-red color of the surface, we can assume the presence of iron and copper sulfides, such as chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and idaite 178


(Cu5FeS6) , whose Raman spectra have a band of intensity around 470 cm -1. The presence of crystal copper sulfide, covelline (CuS), is not ruled out, although the mineral usually presents as blue rather than red. 2500

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Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

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Point 4 — blue-green spot: at this stage the Raman bands were characteristic for crystal copper sulfide (CuS), cuprite (present with greater probability in the lower layer of dark-red color), and silicates of various kinds. 179


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Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

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Point 5 — yellow-red spot: the spectrum is very similar to the result depicted in Point 2. We assume the presence of copper and iron sulfides in the form of chalcopyrite and idaite. Presenza di solfuri

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Point 6 — yellow-red spot: revealed the presence of cuprite (Cu2O) and tenorite (CuO).

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Marcello Miccio

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Point 8 — yellow–red spot: revealed the presence of cuprite (Cu2O).

Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

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Point 9 — green zone of the belt: the presence of several bands that can evince the presence of the mineral malachite [Cu2CO3(OH)2].

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Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

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Point 10 — blue-green spot: analysis reveals the presence of copper sulfides with cuprite (Cu2O) and silicates of various kinds.

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Point 11 — green-blue spot: reveals the presence of copper sulfides and probably malachite [Cu2CO3 (OH)2].

Marcello Miccio

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Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

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Point 13 — very dark red spot: revealed the presence of cuprite (Cu2O).

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Point 14 — red-brown spot: presence of cuprite (Cu2O).

Marcello Miccio

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Point 15 — red-brown spot: revealed the presence of cuprite (Cu2O) and tenorite (CuO). Presenza di cuprite e tenorite

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Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

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Point 16 — red-brown spot: revealed the presence of cuprite (Cu2O).

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Marcello Miccio

2. LIPS

The technology of Laser Induced Plasma Spectroscopy (LIPS) allows us to obtain quantitative information about the elemental composition of a sample of bronze alloys with the greatest accuracy. Focusing impulse laser beams on the surface of the sample being tested creates plasma, the cooling of which leads to the recombination of electrons and the illumination of atoms. These changes yield a characteristic spectral model that can give the atomic composition of the sample. As a rule, quantitative information can be obtained by comparing the collected LIPS signal, with frequencies unique to each element, to the known baseline measurement. This particular method has the principal advantage of not relying on a set hypotheses pertaining to the generation and degradation of plasma. On the contrary, the methodology of Free 190


Calibration (FC) is based on fundamental theories on the ideal conditions for plasma formation and dynamics (i.e., local thermal equilibrium (LTE) and stoichiometry of ablation), which have not always been confirmed.

Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

LIPS is a minimally destructive technique of microanalysis (on average, the diameter of the generated crater is 100 microns and the depth half a micron), which does not require any sample preparation prior to data collection and can be used to analyze the specimen at any location. With a standard LIPS device, one quickly approaches the limit of detection (LOD) of tens or hundreds of parts per million (ppm) of most of the elements. If a double impulse technique is utilized or if the sample is set in a controlled atmosphere, a lower LOD can be reached.

P1 P4

P2 P13 P3

P14

191


Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

P6

P5

P9

P7

P8

193


Marcello Miccio

P10 P11

Sn (wt %)

Pb (wt %)

Zn (wt %)

P 1

4.6 ± 0.3

0.8 ± 0.3

3.4 ± 0.3

P 2

2.7 ± 0.2

1 ± 0.2

2.7 ± 0.4

P 3

5.6 ± 0.3

0.8 ± 0.2

5.3 ± 0.6

P 4

6.0 ± 0.4

0.6 ± 0.2

5.8 ± 0.6

P 5

5.0 ± 0.3

0.9 ± 0.3

6.1 ± 0.6

P 6

5.8 ± 0.4

1.1 ± 0.5

4.5 ± 0.7

P 7

8.1 ± 0.4

1.5 ± 0.4

5.6 ± 0.4

Semiquant

P 8

7 ± 0.4

0.6 ± 0.2

4.8 ± 0.7

Semiquant

P 9

5.8 ± 0.5

1.4 ± 0.3

5.3 ± 0.9

P 10

5.0 ± 0.4

0.7 ± 0.3

5.2 ± 0.3

P 11

4.9 ± 0.4

1.1 ± 0.2

5.6 ± 0.5

P 12

4.6 ± 0.4

1.2 ± 0.3

6.1 ± 0.8

P 13

4.4 ± 0.5

0.8 ± 0.4

6.5 ± 0.7

P 14

4.8 ± 0.3

0.8 ± 0.3

6.1 ± 0.7

194

note

Fe in sup.

Fe in sup. Fe in sup.


12 200

800

P1

700

6

P2

10 150

600

4

8

500 6

400 300

100 2

4 50

200 2

100

0

0 0

100

200

300

400

0

0

500

0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

9

15

P3

300

P4

1000 12 800

6

9

200

600 6

100 3

0 0

200

400

600

800

0 1000

400

3

200 0

0 0

200

400

600

800

900

P10

800

P12

12 1000

9

700 600

9

500

800 6

600

400

6 400

300 200

3

3

200

100 0

0 0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

0

0 0

1400

Laser Pulses

200

400

600

800

1000

500

1400

Bronzo

450 400

Depth (pm)

n Ca (a.u.) n Sn (wt %)

1200

350 300 250 200 150 100 50

Laser Pulses, %

0 0

150

300

450

600

750

900

1050

195


Marcello Miccio

Contours of impenetrability reach a critical point relatively quickly. At several points, the melt appears to be very porous and in fact one can see marks representative of calcium (Ca) that penetrate deeply into the melt (P1, P10). Evidence of iron (Fe) can be found in select areas on the surface and has a reddish color.

3. Optical Metallography: Theory and Application Metallography is an important tool for understanding the history of the archaeological object under examination, starting from techniques used for the manufacture of the object to its ultimate preservation in our time. From the metallographic analysis one can find out if the examined object was created using a melt poured into a prepared mold or by manipulation of a consolidated metal, as in blacksmithing, with the intent of generating the final shape. It can be determined if the metals came into contact with sources of heat or were exposed to external cooling. It can be determined as to the type of metal and melt that were used, consequently leading to the information revealing the place of origin. Corrosion products can reveal the nature of the environment in which it was preserved for centuries. Metallography starts with examination of the outer appearance of the archaeological object with the help of a stereographic microscope. The next step is to collect a sample, which is followed by preparation of the sample into an acceptable format to be used for analysis in the metallographic microscope. To obtain a “metallographic� sample, the following operations must be performed: 196


Collection of the sample Preparation of the sample Chemical treatment.

Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues

Two small metal samples were selected from invisible regions that on the surface were consistent with the corrosion conditions of the group of statues.

Cross-section of samples 1338–1339

Conclusions The underground location of the statues brought about a natural process of corrosion that allowed the objects to be covered by a variety of salts, which depending on soil type, formed the so-called patina when coming in contact with bronze. 197


Raman analysis revealed the “quality� of this surface cover, comprised of salts of copper such as cuprite, covellite, tenorite, and malachite; and those of iron such as indaite and hematite, all of which are relatively stable components that give the statues that varied green-brown color that is reminiscent of bronze archaeological objects. LIPS analysis revealed that the corrosion process occurs strictly on the surface and the corrosion layer itself is very thin, and indicated the chemical composition of the bronze in different locations. Metallographic analysis confirmed the thinness of the corrosion layer and the type of the interaction with the metal, which is significantly different from the deep penetration which is commonly observed in archaeological objects.

Appendix: Explanation for diagrams Point 1 Presence of cuprite Point 2 Presence of sulfides Point 3 Presence of sulfides CuS, C2S Point 4 Presence of sulfides of copper, cuprite and silicates Point 5 Presence of sulfides Point 6 Presence of cuprite and tenorite Point 7 Presence of hematite Point 8 Presence of cuprite Point 9 Possible presence of malachite Point 10 Presence of sulfides, cuprite and silicates Point 11 Presence of sulfides and, probably malachite Point 12 Presence of sulfides of copper, silicates and tenorite Point 13 Presence of cuprite Point 14 Presence of cuprite Point 15 Presence of cuprite and tenorite Point 16 Presence of cuprite

Archaeological metallurgical study of the surface of bronze statues


Chronology

1945, October 21 Grisha Bruskin (Grigory Davidovich Bruskin) is born in Moscow. 1957 Begins studying at the Moscow Art School, near the Planetarium. 1963 Begins studying in the Applied Art Department of the Moscow Textile Institute. 1966 Takes part in the 7th Young Artists Exhibition at the House of Artists, Kuznetsky Most Street, Moscow. 1969 Bruskin applies for USSR Union of Artists membership with his student works and is accepted at the Painting Department. Reads books on the history of Jews and Judaism. Produces his first painting based on Jewish mythology and signs it as Grisha Bruskin in the same year. 1976 One-day personal show at the House of Artists, Kuznetsky Most Street, Moscow. 1976–83 Takes part in many one-day shows at the House of Artists. Since the late 1970s pursues two themes in parallel: the myth of Judaism and the Communist myth. 1980s Creates works as fragments of an infinite painting (Alefbet, The Fundamental Lexicon, Logias, Codifications, etc.).

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1983 Personal show of Grisha Bruskin in Vilnius, Lithuania. A few days after opening the exhibition is closed by order of Comrade Shepetis, Ideology Department Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party. The artist is called to the comrades’ court at the Moscow Department of the Artists Union. There are attempts to expel him from the Union. The punishment is limited to public reprimand. 1984 Grisha Bruskin’s exhibition opens at the Central House of Art Workers, Moscow, Russia. The show is closed the next day, by order of Comrade Rogozhin, Secretary of the Moscow Communist Party Committee. 1985 Bruskin takes up sculpture. 1987 Artist and Contemporaneity, the first non-censored show, opens at the Kashirka exhibition hall on Millionshchikova Street, Moscow, Russia. This coincides with a visit to Moscow by American film director Miloš Forman, who purchases the 1st part of Bruskin’s Fundamental Lexicon. 1988 Bruskin presents The Birth of the Hero performance at the Kashirka exhibition hall on Millionshchikova Street, in cooperation with Pekarsky, Prigov, Rubinstein, Tarasov, and others. He participates in I Live — I see show at the Fine Arts Museum, Bern, Switzerland. The first Sotheby’s Moscow auction is held

on July 7. Bruskin’s Fundamental Lexicon is featured on the auction poster and catalog cover. Six artworks by Bruskin break all records for contemporary Russian art prices. He takes part in the Olympiad of Art show at the National Museum of Seoul, South Korea. The Chicago Expo president invites Bruskin to come to Chicago and create a poster for the exhibition. 1988 Bruskin takes up residence in Moscow and in New York. He cooperates with the Marlborough Gallery. 1988–90 Works on 15 monumental sculptures in stainless steel. Creates The Birth of the Hero installation. TV Gallery (Moscow, Russia) shoots the Grisha Bruskin documentary. 1991–92 Publishes the General Guide book in cooperation with poet Lev Rubinstein. 1993 Takes part in the Europa — Europa show in Bonn, Germany; The General Guide exhibition project at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, and the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. ZDF, the 2nd German TV channel, films and broadcasts Grisha Bruskin in New York. 1995 A personal retrospective is held at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Argentine television films and broadcasts Grisha Bruskin in Buenos Aires. Visage, a monumental sculpture, is set up in the park at Ra’anana, Israel. Bruskin participates in Russian Jewish Painters in the Century of Change. 1880–1990 show at the Jewish Museum, New York, USA. 1997 Creates the Island is a Part of Land Surrounded with Water performance at the KukArt-2 festival at Tsarskoye Selo, Russia, in cooperation with jazz musician Vladimir Tarasov. 1998–99 Works on the Life is Everywhere project at the Dulevo (former Kuznetsov) Porcelain Factory, Russia. 1999 The German government invites Bruskin as representative of Russia to create Life Above All, a monumental triptych for the restored Reichstag in Berlin. 2000 Presents two monumental sculptures on the Walking Man show at the Palais Royal, Paris, France. In cooperation with John Taverner he participates in an issue of Anna Akhmatova’s Requiem published by the Limited Edition Club, New York. 2001 The Novoye Literaturnoye Obozreniye Publishers issue Grisha Bruskin’s book Past Imperfect; Grisha Bruskin’s show Life is Everywhere is held at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, and the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. The Alphabetic Truths, or a Dinner for 34 Eaters of Spiritual Food performance at the Marble Palace in the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Starts working on a project of “destroyed” sculptures — the Archaeologist's Collection and On the Edge. 2002 Das Alphabet des Grisha Bruskin, a personal show at Kunsthalle Emden, Germany.

2003 Grisha Bruskin. Fragments of an Infinite Collection, a personal show at the Judengasse Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Good Bye USSR performances (in cooperation with D. Prigov, V. Tarasov, L. Rubinstein, I. Prokhorova) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Novoye Literaturnoye Obozreniye Publishers issue Grisha Bruskin’s book You in My Thoughts. 2005 Takes part in the 1st Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia. Takes part in the Monumental Sculptures show in Saint Tropez, France. Novoye Literaturnoye Obozreniye Publishers issue Grisha Bruskin’s book Details by Mail. He takes part in the Avantgarde im Untergrund. Russische Nonkonformisten aus der Sammlung Bar-Gera group show at the Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland. Participates in the Russia! Nine Hundred Years of Masterpieces and Master Collections exhibition at the Guggenheim, New York, USA. 2006 Takes part in the Russia! Nine Hundred Years of Masterpieces and Master Collections at the Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain. A personal show titled Grisha Bruskin. Alefbet. Tapestry is held at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia. Takes part in the Weltanschauung show at Palazzo Belmonte Riso, Palermo, Italy. Participates in the Territories of Terror show at the Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, USA. 2007 At the 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art he takes part in the Sots Art show at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia. Takes part in the L’Art Comme Univers show at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia. 2008 Novoye Literaturnoye Obozreniye Publishers issue Grisha Bruskin’s book Direct and Indirect Objects. Syracuse University Press issues Grisha Bruskin’s

book Past Imperfect: 318: 318 Episodes from the Life of a Russian Artist. Takes part in the Total Enlightement. Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960–1990 show at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany. 2009 Completes the Twilight of the Gods sculpture installation (displayed at the Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA). Works on the H-Hour project. 2010 Grisha Bruskin. Alefbet personal show is held at the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism, Paris, France. Takes part in the International Tapestry Triennial, Central Textile Museum, Łódz´, Poland. Novoye Literaturnoye Obozreniye Publishers issue a collection of articles entitled Towards Bruskin. 2012 Receives Kandinsky prize 2012 award. 2013 Grisha Bruskin. H-Hour personal show is held at the American University Museum, in the Katzen Arts Center. MUSEUM COLLECTIONS Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, USA; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA; The Museum of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel; State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; National Gallery of Arts, Caracas, Venezuela; Jewish Museum, New York, USA; Kunsthalle, Emden, Germany; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Maine, USA; Rutgers University, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA; Achenbach Graphic Art Foundation, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA; Moscow

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Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia; Cabinet of Graphics, state museums of Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Art4, Museum of Actual Art, Moscow, Russia; Yekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, Russia; Sydney Besthoff Garden of Sculptures, Museum of New Orleans, New Orleans, USA. PERFORMANCES 1988 Grisha Bruskin. The Birth of the Hero, Kashirka exhibiton hall on Millionshchikova Street, Moscow, Russia. 1997 Grisha Bruskin. Island is a Part of Land Surrounded with Water (in cooperation with V. Tarasov). KukArt-3 festival, Tsarskoye Selo, Russia. 2000 Grisha Bruskin, Alphabetic Truths, or the Dinner for 34 Eaters of Spiritual Food, Marble Palace, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. 2003 Grisha Bruskin. Good Bye USSR (in cooperation with D. Prigov, V. Tarasov, L. Rubinstein, I. Prokhorova). Frankfurt, Germany. 2007 Grisha Bruskin. Les Verites Premieres. In cooperation with V. Tarasov, S. Skanavi and J. Leandre. Maison Rouge, Paris, France. 2011 Grisha Bruskin. Alphabetic Truths. In cooperation with V. Tarasov, I. Prokhorova. The Pushkin House (within the framework of the London Bookfair), London, UK. PUBLIC INSTALLATIONS 1995 Visage sculpture for Ra’anana city, Israel. 1999 Life Above All triptych for the restored Reichstag, Berlin, Germany.

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FILMS 1992 Grisha Bruskin. The Birth of the Hero. TV Gallery program cycle, 1992, Ostankino TV channel. Director Nina Zaretskaya. 1993 Grisha Bruskin in New York. Producer Rudolf Blahacek. Director Yana Markova. 1995 Grisha Bruskin in Buenos Aires. GALA/Ermina Denoto. Director Hugo Mendonga. 2002 Grisha Bruskin, Classics of Contemporary Art program cycle, Kultura TV channel. 2012 Grisha Bruskin, Past Imperfect, Russian America documentary series, 2012, Kultura TV channel. PERSONAL EXHIBITIONS 1976 House of Artists, Moscow, USSR. 1983 Vilnius, Lithuania. 1984 Central House of Art Workers, Moscow, USSR. 1990 Marlborough Gallery, New York (catalog). 1991 Painting and Sculpture. Grace Hokin Gallery, Palm Beach, USA; A Personal Mythology. Erica Meyerovich Gallery, San Francisco, USA. 1992 Galerie Alex Lachmann, Cologne, Germany. 1993 Grisha Bruskin. General Guide / Lev Rubinstein. Another Name. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, and State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (catalog); Painting, Drawing and Sculpture. Struve Gallery, Chicago, USA.

1994 Painting. Sculpture. Graphics. Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle, USA (catalog); General Guide and Other Art Works. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog); Metamorphoses. Erica Meyerovich Gallery. San Francisco, USA. 1995 National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina (catalog); Mythical Imagery. Erica Meyerovich Gallery, San Francisco, USA. 1996 Revisions. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog). 1997 The Birth of the Hero. Galerie Andy Illien Zurich, Switzerland. 1998 Life is Everywhere. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog). 1999 Life Above All. Galerie Andy Illien Zurich, Switzerland. 2000 Marlborough Gallery, Boca Raton, USA. 2001 Life is Everywhere. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, and State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (catalog) Paradise Lost. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog). 2002 Kunsthalle, Emden, Germany (catalog). 2003 Fragments of an Infinite Collection. Judengasse Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (catalog). 2004 Modern Archaeology. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog). 2005 Archaeologist's Collection. Marlborough Gallery, Monte Carlo, Monaco (catalog).


2006 Alefbet. Tapestry. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia (catalog); Mythology and Mysticism. Meyerovich Gallery, San Francisco, USA Archaeologist's Collection. Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris, France. 2009 Twilight of the Gods. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog) 2010 Alefbet. Museum of Art and the History of Judaism, Paris, France (catalog) 2012 H-Hour. Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia (catalog). 2013 H-Hour. American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, USA (catalog).

1989 100 Years of Russian Art 1889– 1989: From Private Collections in the USSR. Barbican Art Gallery, London, Great Britain (itinerant exhibition Great Britain — USSR; catalog); Sculpture by Abakanowicz, Botero, Bruskin, Davies, Grooms, Mason. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog); Von der Revolution zur Perestroika: Sowjetische Kunst aus der Sammlung Ludwig. Lucerne Kunsthalle, Lucerne, Switzerland — Vice Queen-Townhall Palace, Barcelona, Spain — Museum of Modern Art, Saint-Étienne, France (catalog); Recent Acquisitions: Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Artists for Liberty, Berlin Wall. Paris, France — London, UK — Madrid, Spain (catalog).

1989–92 Bilder für den Himmel-Kunstdrachen. Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany. Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris, France; Kunstsammlung Nordhein- Westfalen, MAIN GROUP SHOWS Düsseldorf, Germany; Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia; 1966 Seventh Young Artists Exhibition. Deichtor Halle, Hamburg, Germany; Museu Calouste GulbenHouse of Artists, Moscow, USSR. kian, Lisbon, Portugal; Musée des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium; 1987 National Gallery, Berlin, GerThe Artist and Contemporanemany; Charlottenburg, Copenhaity. Kashirka exhibition hall on Millionshchikova Street, Moscow, gen, Denmark, etc. (exhibition catalog) USSR; The Object. Exhibition Hall on Malaya Gruzinskaya 1990 Street, Moscow, USSR; RetroChagall to Kitaj. The Jewish spective 1957–1987. Hermitage Experience in 20th Century Art. exhibition hall on Profsoyuznaya Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK Street, Moscow, USSR. (catalog) 1988 1991 Ich lebe — Ich Sehe. Kunstler Artistas Rusos Contamporaneos. der Achtziger Jahre in Moskau. Santiago de Compostela, Spain Bern Art Museum, Bern, Swit(catalog) zerland (catalog); Olympiad of Art. National Museum of Mod1992 ern Art, Seoul, South Korea On Paper. Marlborough Gallery, (catalog); Sowejetkunst Heute. New York (catalog); The Diaspora. Ludwig Museum, Cologne, GerCentral House of Artists, Moscow, many (catalog); Glasnost — Die Russia. Neue Freiheit der Sowjetischen Maler. Kunsthalle, Emden, Ger1993 many (catalog); Kunstdrachen: Drawing the Line Against AIDS. Bilder für den Himmel. Miyagi Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy — Prefecture Art Museum, SenGuggenheim Museum, New York, dai, Japan (itinerant exhibition USA (catalog); Von Malewitsch Japan — Europe, 1988–1992) bis Kabakov. Russische Avant(catalog). garde im 20.

Jahrundert. Ludwig Museum Collection, Josef-HaubrichKunsthalle, Cologne, Germany (catalog); Post-Modernism and Tradition. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; A la Decouverte de Collections Romandes. Museum of Modern Art, Pully/Lausanne, Switzerland (catalog; Europa — Europa. Das Jahrhundert der Avantgarde in Mittel- und Osteuropa. Art Center of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, Germany (catalog); Fujisankel Biennale. Open Air Museum, Hakone, Japan (catalog) 1994–95 Itinere. Contemporary Art Center, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (catalog). 1995 Reinventing the Emblem. Art Gallery of Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA (catalog); Russian Jewish Artists in a Century of Change 1890 — 1990. Jewish Museum, New York, USA (catalog); From Gulag to Glasnost. Non-Conformist Art from the Soviet Union 1956 — 1986. Nancy and Norton Dodge Collection. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA (catalog); Moscow: The Group. Heidi Neuhoff Gallery, New York, USA (catalog); On Paper. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog); Sculpture in the Little Forest. Ra’anana, Israel. 1996 Nonconformisten. Die zweite Russische Avantgarde 1955–1988. Bar-Gera Collection. State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Art Institute and Gallery, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Bavaria Department of Culture Exhibition Center, Leverkusen, Germany; Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany (catalog); On Paper. Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (catalog); Recent Trends Department: First Five Years. State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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1997 Artistas Nao Conformistas da Uniao Sovietica. Nancy and Norton Dodge Collection at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. Lisbon, Portugal (exhibition poster and catalog); Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union. Budapest Palace of Arts, Budapest, Hungary; Contemporary Artists Welcome the New Year — The Jewish Museum List Graphic Commission. Jewish Museum, New York. 1998–99 Forbidden Art. The Postwar Russian Avant-Garde. Art Center, College of Design, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Pasadena, California, USA; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Art Museum of the University of Miami, Oxford, Ohio, USA (catalog). 1998 It’s the Real Thing: Soviet and Post-Soviet Sots Art & American Pop Art. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (catalog). 1999 20th Century Sculpture. Nassau County Art Museum, New York, USA (catalog); Artist’s Book 1970–1990. From the collection of the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Private Collections Department, Moscow, Russia (catalog); Art Projects in the Restored Reichstag. Berlin, Germany (catalog). 2000 L’arte Vietata in U.R.S.S. 1955– 1988. Non-Conformisti Dalla Collezione Bar-Gera. Gallery of Modern Art. Palazzo Forti, Verona (catalog); Nonconformisten 1955–1988. Die Zweite Russische Avantgarde. Chronik. Bilder und Fotodokumente aus der Sammlung Bar-Gera. Märkisches Museum of Witten, Germany (catalog); Eden Zion Utopia. Zur Geschichte der Zukunft im Judentum. Jewish Museum, Vienna, Austraia; curator Werner Hanak (catalog); Realizing Future. Jewish Museum, New York, USA; L’Homme qui Marche. De Rodin a Mimran. Sculptures.

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Palais Royal, Paris, France — Lange Voorhout, The Hague, Netherlands (catalog); The New Wing for the Nancy and Norton Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union 1956–1986. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA; 20th Century Art. New permanent display of contemporary Russian art. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; American and Russian Nonconformist Art. Marjorie Barrick Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 2000–01 Hans and Uschi Welle Collection. Graphics Cabinet, State Museums of Berlin, Berlin, Germany. 2001–02 Das Rote Haus. Zeitgenossische Russische Kunst aus der Sammlung Bierfreund. Bietigheim-Bissingen Municipal Gallery, Villa Zanders Municipal Gallery, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany (catalog) 2001 Dumbo Double Deuce. New York & Russian Artists. Dumbo, New York, USA 500 Years of Russian Art. OKO Pavilion, São Paulo, Brazil (catalog) Russian Revolutions: Generations of Russian Jewish Avant-Garde Artists. Singer Gallery, Mizel Arts and Culture Center, Denver, Colorado (catalog) The Image of Evil in Art. Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, Graduate Theological Union, Berkley Sculptures by Abacanovicz, Botero, Bruskin, Chadwick and others. Marlborough Gallery, New York (catalog) La Parade des Animaux. 2nd International Festival of Sculpture in Monte Carlo. Les Jardins de Monte Carlo, Monaco (catalog). 2003 Remembrance. Russian Post-Modern Nostalgia. Yeshiva University Museum, New York (catalog) La Fete. Le Bellevue, Biarritz, Museo Valenciano de la Illustracion y la Modernidad, Valencia, Spain (catalog) Das Recht des Bildes. Judische Perspectiven in der modern Kunst. Museum.

Bochum, Germany (catalog) Persecuted Art & Artists (under totalitarian regimes in 20thcentury Europe). Art Museum Ashdod, Israel (catalog) 2005 Sculptures Monumentales a Saint-Tropez. France (catalog) Avantgerde im Untergrund. Russische Nonconformisten aus der Sammlung Bar-Gera. Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland (catalog); 1st Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (catalog); 1 RUSSIA! Nine Hundred Years of), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (catalog) Masterpieces and Master Collections. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (catalog). 2006 Weltanschaung. Self-Portrait of the World at the Turn of the Millennium. Museo di Arte Contemporanea Palazzo Belmonte Riso, Palermo, Italy (catalog); 1 RUSSIA! Nine Hundred Years of Masterpieces and Master Collections. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (catalog) Time of Change. Art of 1960– 1985 in the Soviet Union. State Russian Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia (catalog)/ Territories of Terror. Mythologies and Memories of the Gulag in Contemporary Russian-American Art. Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, USA (catalog). 2007 Chanel. L’art Comme l’univers. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia (catalog) SotsArt. Art Politique en Russia de 1972 à Aujourd’hui. Maison Rouge, Paris, France 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Sots-Art. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia Fifty-Fifty. Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of M. Alshiby and M. Kurtzer. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia (catalog). 2008 Total Enlightenment. Conceptual Art in Moscow 1960–1990. Schirn Kunsthalle. Hatje Cantz. Frankfurt, Germany; Fundacion Juan March, Madrid, Spain (catalog).


2009 Fragile Persuasion: Russian Porcelain and the Fine Art of Propaganda. Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens. Washington, USA (catalog) 1989–2009 Mur de Berlin. Artistes Pour la Liberte. Jardins du Palais-Royal, Paris, France Face. Image. Time. Representation of Man in Art: from Modernism to Modern Times (within the framework of the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art special projects). Yekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, Russia (catalog) Berlin Wall. VINZAVOD Center for Contemporary Art. Red Wine Shop Ode to Joy. Yuri Traisman private collection of Russian and Soviet porcelain. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia (catalog). 2010 Collage. State Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (catalog) International Tapestry Triennial. Museum of Textiles, Łódz´, Poland (catalog) 2011 Jodendom. (Judaism. A World of Stories) De Nieuwe Kerk. Amsterdam, Netherlands (catalog); Dialog uber Grenzen. Die Sammlung Riese. (Dialog across borders. Collection Riese) Museum GASK, Kutna Hora bei Prag. Czech Republic. Traveling to Leopold-Hoesch-Museum & Papiermuseum. Düren, Germany (catalog). 2012 Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art, 1960-80s Saatchi Gallery. London, England (catalog). Kandinsky Prize 2012 Award Exibition, Udarnik, Moscow, Russia (catalog).


Li s t of s c ul p ture s *

1. State Emblem of USSR. 31 × 30 × 6 ** 2. Order of the Red Banner of Labor. 32 × 24 × 8 3. Red Star. 28 × 28 × 10 4. Medal with a Portrait of Stalin. 29 × 19 × 7 5. Badge with Young model aircraft Constructors. 19 × 14 × 6 6. Badge of the University. 28 × 16 × 11 7. Symbol with Red Banner. 22 × 14 × 6 8. Symbol with Propeller. 14 × 23 × 8 9. Badge. society of friends of the air fleet. 20 × 20 × 8 10. General with a Missile. 117 × 74 × 46 11. Pioneer in Helmet. 122 × 33 × 39 12. Doctor. 128 × 70 × 30 13. Bandaged Boy. 103 × 41 × 28 14. Border Guard. 106 × 48 × 53 15. Dog. 56 × 85 × 21 16. Schoolgirl. 84 × 47 × 30 17. Bureaucrat. 134 × 42 × 31 18. Man in Gas Mask. 95 × 59 × 38 19. Marshal. 74 × 57 × 29 20. Athlete. 98 × 56 × 27 21. Schoolteacher. 104 × 44 × 38 22. Young Naturalist. 104 × 38 × 42 23. Pioneer Leader. 112 × 43 × 64 24. Prisoner. 118 × 65 × 51 25. Bride. 136 × 74 × 28 26. Workman. 121 × 44 × 33 27. Happy Childhood. 118 × 53 × 33 28. Young Sailor. 103 × 68 × 32 29. Groom. 120 × 62 × 39 30. Airplane. 55 × 60 × 12 31. Kalashnikov. 80 × 28 × 7 32. Symbol of Medicine. 43 × 19 × 17 33. Lenin’s Mausoleum. 24 × 34 × 34 * All of the sculptures were created in 2004–2009. Excavations were made in 2012. Bronze, natural patina. ** Size in centimeters.

206


Grisha Bruskin Archaeologist’s Collection Catalog

The German National Library lists this publication in the German National Bibliography; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de. Printed and published by: Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld Windelsbleicher Str. 166–170 33659 Bielefeld Germany Tel. +49 (0) 5 21/9 50 08-10 Fax +49 (0) 5 21/9 50 08-88 info@kerberverlag.com www.kerberverlag.com Kerber, US Distribution D.A.P., Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10013 Tel. +1 (212) 627-1999 Fax +1 (212) 627-9484 KERBER publications are available in selected bookstores and museum shops worldwide (distributed in Europe, Asia, South and North America). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. © 2013 Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld/Berlin Reproductions of artworks: © Grisha Bruskin Text: © Shalva Breus © Grisha Bruskin © Boris Groys © Mikhail Iampolski Photographs: © Dima Galanternik, cover © Sten Rosenlund, frontispiece © Grisha Bruskin, pp. 8, 79–131, 138, 180, 184, 192, 198 © Grisha Bruskin, Dima Galanternik, pp. 10–37 © Valentin Chertok, pp. 46–49, 52, 58, 64 © Grisha Bruskin, Mark Luttrell, pp. 67–73 © Bill Orkut, pp. 143–175 Design: © Dmitry Chernogaev, Grisha Bruskin

ISBN 978-3-86678-883-1 www.kerberverlag.com Printed in Germany


Grisha Bruskin. Archaeologist’s Collection  

Catalog, art, sculpture

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