The PinchukArtCentre presents the 8th PAC-UA project – an exhibition by Ukrainian artist Alexey Salmanov. “Forest Means Cheaper” is a new work by Salmanov especially created for the PinchukArtCentre. It is based on his recent performance in Manhattan, New York City when the artist went to the very heart of America on a mission, based on the history and mythology of the island.
Alexey Salmanov about his project at the PinchukArtCentre: “Initially I wanted to speak about the presence of China on the geopolitical arena. During realization, the project transformed into a completely different story. Its prologue has to do with the history of Manhattan, which was acquired by Europeans from the Indians for a handful of necklaces that cost around 24 dollars. So I arrived in New York with a commercial proposal to buy this huge island once again for 25 monetary units, this time not American, but Chinese, 25 Yuans. I produced a poster saying “Will Buy Manhattan for 25 Yuans” and walked with it during the day through the busiest Manhattan streets.”
This provocative gesture turned for the artist into a very intimate experience of introspection in the public space of the big city. This was balanced by the followed collaborative actions of symbolic acquiring of Manhattan from a New Yorker and giving it back to the Indians in the person of a local Native American.
Bjorn Geldhof, Deputy Artistic Director of the PinchukArtCentre: “After being awarded a Special Prize of the PinchukArtCentre Prize 2009, we continue to support the work of
Alexey Salmanov. The art centre supported the performance which he has made in New York and is now premiering the work which grew out of this within the context of PAC-UA. The exhibition and this platform show our continuous commitment to the Ukrainian artist and especially to the young generation.”
The installation “Forest Means Cheaper” presented at the 4th floor of the PinchukArtCentre unfolds in two chapters, two rooms and two types of physical space. A concentrated archive of the project constitutes the first room. Photographic and video documentation of performance, objects from the scene and symbolic items are presented in a visual plain that invite viewer to make a reading effort. The video projection in the second room suggests contemplation rather than direct action and refers to the cyclicity of time and space, articulated by the artist in the project.
The project was realized with the participation of Lee Manansala and Dylan Carusona; photography: Artur Bondar, video: Bogdana Smirnova.
The exhibition is open at the PinchukArtCentre from February, 16 till March 17, 2013.
Reoccurring ritualism of Salmanov’s work is celebrated in the artist’s performance on the opening day of February 16, 2013, at 15:00. Later on Alexey Salmanov and Maria Lanko, participant of the PinchukArtCentre’s Curatorial Platform, will lead the PAC-UA Talk dedicated to “Forest Means Cheaper” project. The event will take place in the PAC-UA space on the
4th floor of the art centre.
PAC-UA is a special program line to present new produced works of Ukrainian artists embedded in the context of the Collection Platform, aiming to research ongoing artistic processes within the country and support strong and long-term collaboration between the PinchukArtCentre and the artists. With its project, PinchukArtCentre presents a dynamic and flexible program for Ukrainian artists that is showcased in the PAC-UA space for a period of one month. Since its launch in 2011, the exhibitions by Vasyl Tsagolov, Arsen Savadov, Oleksandr Roytburd, Iliya Chichkan, Mykola Matsenko, Pavlo Makov, and Zhanna Kadyrova were showcased at the PAC-UA.
Alexey Salmanov received no formal artistic training, but has been engaged in photographic practice for a long time. He works in various media ranging from photography to performance and installation. Salmanov won a Special Prize of the PinchukArtCentre Prize 2009 and was nominee of the PinchukArtCentre Prize 2011. He completed an internship at Olafur Eliasson’s studio in Berlin (2009) and exhibited at Sevastopol Art Museum (2012), Kunstvlaai Festival of Independents, Amsterdam (2012) and Supermarkt ArtFair, Stockholm (2011), among others.