A mysterious alphabet composed of 160 characters: angels, animal-faced demons, figures pierced by lightning, men carrying their own shadow on their shoulders or gazing into the secrets of a book.
For his first exhibition in Venice, Grisha Bruskin (b.1945,Moscow), one of the great living Russian artists, with an international reputation dating at least from the mid 1980s, has chosen the project “Alefbet”: at the heart of the exhibition are five large tapestries (2,80 x 2,10). These, however, can be reached only after examining the preparatory drawings, gouaches, and six extraordinary paintings that articulate the successive stages of this complex and fascinating “archive of the sign”. This highly condensed synthesis draws on the thousand-years-old Jewish tradition of the Talmud and Kabbalah, presented as a possible and permanent interpretation key of our own history and present. The stunning visual impact of “Alefbet” cannot fail to fascinate, accompany and draw the viewers through a series of original multimedia apparatuses, designed in collaboration with Marco Barsottini from CamerAnebbia- Milano and aimed at highlighting the extraordinary narrative power of Bruskin’s work.
“My conception of Alefbet is purely artistic, as if it were a game of marbles. It was important for me to create something in the shape of pages, palimpsests, writing, news, commentary… Alefbet is also made of mysterious writings, of rebuses. It is a kind of mythological dictionary where language is developed into a series of symbols, mythologems, and allegories that must be deciphered and guessed. You have to find your own personal explanation”.
“160 figures are placed against a background made of writings. Nothing is going on among them, they are merely represented and associated by the context. Each hero, endowed with an accessory, becomes a symbolical figure, a mythologem, creating a kind of dictionary, a collection, or an alphabet – alefbet in Hebrew. ‘Alefbet’ represents my personal commentary to the Book” states the artist.