International 2010 Archives
Alexander Ponomarev, Sea Stories
Calvert 22, London (United Kingdom)
Calvert 22 is proud to present Sea Stories, the first UK solo exhibition by highly regarded Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev. Curated by Nadim Samman, Sea Stories will unveil a series of new and recent works by the artist, most of which have never been exhibited before in the UK.
Drawing upon a background in nautical engineering and an early career as a submariner, Ponomarev uses his sea voyages as a starting point to explore relationships between illusion and reality, technology and art, mythology and documentary as a way of understanding the shifting tides of personal and cultural history particularly relevant to a contemporary Russian experience.
His work often takes the form of epic aquatic installations but he also produces smaller more intimate pieces, often placing himself within the frame so that the scale and context of the ocean is magnified.
The works in Sea Stories are born from some of the many oceanic journeys undertaken by the artist including expeditions to the North Pole, deep sea submarining and the tracking of the 60th latitude of the Atlantic whilst onboard a scientific research ship.
Exhibition 6 October -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved
A centrepiece of the exhibition is the UK debut of the impressive installation piece Base (2003). Originally created during a residency at the studio of sculptor Alexander Calder, a nine-
In this work the artist reprises the recurring metaphor of the submarine that populates his practice. For Ponomarev, the submarine is employed as a symbol that links art to war, while also signalling the issue of surface and hidden depths, and the fraught relationship between appearance and disappearance.
Alexander Ponomarev, Base, 2003. Photo: Stephen White
Sea Stories also features moving image works, drawings and photographs documenting further artistic adventures inspired by the ocean. Films presented include Maya: A Lost Island (2000), which documents a collaboration with the 5th fleet of the Russian Navy, who were persuaded to lay a smokescreen in front of the island of Sedioyatyl, thus causing its entire landmass gradually to disappear and become momentarily invisible. The exhibition also unveils a new series of self-
Alexander Ponomarev, Maya: A Lost Island, 2005. Film Still Action in collaboration with the 5th fleet of the Russian Navy, Barents Sea Film. Courtesy of Alexander Ponomarev
Alexander Ponomarev, graduated from the USSR Nautical Engineering College in 1979 following a period at Oriel Art School. He then spent several decades working for the Russian navy, before concentrating on art full time.