Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Oleg Yushko
and Kirill Lubenec:
installation “Museum of Bruno”,

ZBOR #36

Installation featuring photographs, prints, video, collages, founds objects, text

200x600x120 сm.

Originally exhibited in Podzemka gallery, Minsk, Belarus

Oleg Yushkoand Kirill Lubenec:installation “Museum of Bruno”,2006

“Museum of Bruno”, Podzemka gallery, Minsk, Belarus, 2006


In 2006, in the Minsk Podzemka gallery the Museum of Bruno installation created by artists Oleg Yushko and Kirill Lubenec was exhibited. The aesthetics of the museum as a way of presentation was based on boards in Minsk Local Studies or Memorial Museums typical for Minsk, which usually are dedicated to a famous historical figure. The installation, fenced off from the viewer with a bounding tape, included collages, images of objects, printed textures on the floor and the wall, bottles of alcohol and a TV, which broadcasted a computer game video. The work was dedicated to the fictional character Bruno, a story, written by Kirill Lubenec in 2005. Bruno is a prisoner in a jail, where he feels comfortable, being its leader. The story is replete with obscenities, prison slang and frank description of sex and violence scenes.

In the Museum of Bruno artists recreated the object-world of the character, presenting the space and the attributes of a fictional character in the gallery. The prison from the story is an image of a virtual trap, in which the hero lives, unable and unwilling to leave the fictional reality, has been presented by the authors in the video recording of a Counter Strike game. Kirill Lubenec designed the virtual location of the supposed events and wrote the background music; Oleg Yushko organized the game in this location and edited the video. Another part of the installation consisted of shelves with a collection of images of different real-world objects (clipart), allegedly belonging to “Bruno, the King of prison”. Above the shelves of clipart there were six double collages of the photographs depicting real Minsk locations with clippings and applications glued to them. Thus, installation character exists in three different dimensions: in the body of text, digital game space, and somewhere in the reality of Belarus. Artists unambiguously compare Minsk space with the set of prison, identifying themselves with the invented character – “a hero of our time” – being aware of the prison around him and, at the same time, creating freedom in such conditions.

This author’s pseudo-museum collection is one of the examples of collective work of artists in creation of narrative projects with numerous codes of mass culture inclusion and the absurd logic. The artists work individually: Kirill Lubenec writes absurdist literary texts and has a blog on social networks, Oleg Yushko creates art objects, site-specific-, photo- and video- installation. Their spontaneous common work which started in 2000s combines existing personal strategies and led to the creation of various art projects. For example, in 2010, Oleg Yushko prepared and published a book of Kirill Lubenec «A36YKA A6CYPDA» (Absurd Alphabet) typed in Volapük code, transliteration, in which Russian characters are replaced with visually similar characters of the Latin alphabet (for example, the letter ” Ч ” is represented with “4”, “ш” – “LLI”, “ю” –“I-O”, “ Ж” – “} I {“, “ь” – “b”, etc.), repeating the forced logic of texting in the times of the lack of computer Russian keyboard.

In the Museum of Bruno the both artists author’s practice of allowed them, in addition to personal reflections, achieve a clear social statement which wasn’t discovered (perhaps luckily for them) at that time.


Kirill Lubenec (born 1974, Minsk, Belarus) – artist, author.

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.


Oleg Yushko (born 1974, Minsk, Belarus) – artist.

Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Text: Sergey Shabohin, KALEKTAR ©


This is a shortened version of the text. Full article is under construction.