About the artist
Alexander Ponomarev (1957, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukrain). A nautical engineer and a practiced submariner, Ponomarev uses experiences obtained from his travels to the depths of oceans and across arctic terrains as a lens through which to view the world. He primarily explores the symbiotic relationship between man and machine. In both his multimedia installations and works on paper, the artist emphasizes the human imagination as a component in the creation of machines; much like Da Vinci’s flying machine sketches, they collapse the difference between technology and art in order to encourage the production of machines for constructive, pleasurable discovery rather than destructive, militaristic purposes. Ponomarev has staged performances in Northern European seas that draw from Alan Kaprow’s Happenings. His works are also notably influenced by the Christian story of Noah and the Ark, and its theme of humanity’s dependence on a vessel to save them.
Lives and Works in Moscow. In 2007, he represented the Russian Federation at the 52nd Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venice. In 2009, he implemented a special project, “Subtitsiano (Ascent submarine in the Grand Canal)” at the 53rd Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venice. He is a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Arts. In 2008 the French government named him an “Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters” (Officier d’ordre des Arts et des Lettres).
Collections: Centre George Pompidou, Paris; FNAC (Fonds Nationa d’Art Contemporain), France; FRAC (Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain), Bretagne, France; Ministry of Culture, Moscow; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; Picardy Art Museum, Amien, France and National Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow among others. As of 2008 he lives and works in Moscow.