Ilya Grishaev

Ilya Grishaev / b. 1984, Russia / lives and works in St. Petersburg


The 5th Ural Biennial Main Project features the work:
“o. T. (ohne Titel) / elderberry. do you still want to find your hat…” (Ink and charcoal on textile,
Courtesy of the artist

“car traces, jaguar footprints… here, writing is making, and drawing is a verb. a nod of page and a stroke of spell. draught. a mechanic fresco of the plant’s body surface.” (I. Grishaev)

Ilya Grishaev’s artistic practice is set in its contemporaneity even though it bows to the great tradition of modernism. In his installations and performances, the artist investigates the similar manifestations of “irrationality” and “sub-consciousness” that were explored by French surrealism with its interest in automatic writing and universal languages. Often starting with letters and numbers, Grishaev moves to creating signs and texts that seem strangely familiar but remain rather indecipherable. Without imposing any didactic interpretations or directions, the artist invites viewers into his game of symbols and creates experimentation and exchanges with his audience. Modernity has witnessed the rapid disintegration of the symbolic world and the destruction of cosmologies with imaginary systems of order. With the spreading of instant digital information and products, the potency of a shared collective memory through metaphors, poetry, and symbols becomes ever more alienating. Grishaev asks: How we can re-incorporate such an intimate relationship with our world again? And so does this exhibition.