The solo exhibition “Stored In Ice,” currently on view through June 12 at Richard Taittinger Gallery, embraces Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev’s lifelong exploration of the interdependence between man and machine. “Stored In Ice” encapsulates the undefined terrains of the Antarctic Circle and its relation to cultural memory.
The exhibit serves as a prelude to the futuristic vision Ponomarev will unveil in 2017 at the first Antarctic Biennale of Contemporary Art. The showcase of both large-scale installations and graphite drawings on navigational maps, capture the immensity of the sea and humanity’s search for connection to the Earth. Ponomarev’s inspirations drawn from memory reflect his own history as a nautical engineer. “Stored In Ice” presents a deeper look into the culturally enigmatic ocean with its natural elements like glaciers symbiotically relating to nautical machines created by man.
Ponomarev balances humanity and the Earth with his Polar Man series (2016): darkened drawings of an explorer on oceanic maps to counter the immensity. Submarine Of Memoryand Periscope of Time (2016) echo sharp and detailed depictions of machinery and submarines employed from the artist’s acute memory of the architecture surrounding a submariner’s life. The installations Icebreaker (2016) and Stored in Ice (2016) loom with enormity but contain that minute detail consistent in the exhibit.
The Odessa-born artist’s continuing investigation of unfamiliar places and nomadic lifestyle is reflected in his innovative works and performances. Ponomarev’s ambition exists beyond gallery walls as a traveler and innovator. Next spring, the first Antarctic Biennale will commence aboard the research ships Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilovof the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Antarctic is the last free continent and it is being protected solely for creative purposes by the 1959 international treaty. Ponomarev serves as the curator for this expedition and “Stored in Ice” is just the tip of the iceberg.