Maya A Lost Island
A Lost Island (2000) is a video work in two parts. One screen shows Ponomarev scratching away at a paper map, removing all symbolic trace of the eponymous land mass. It is erasure performed in a perfunctory manner. The second video documents the realization of this gesture on a massive scale-footage capturing the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy deploying maritime flares to make a real island, in the Barents sea, completely disappear. The action is an incredible counterpoint to the individual performance. Ponomarev’s project draws a veil of smoky artifice over a place whose name signifies delusion.
Alexander Ponomarev (b.1957) graduated from the USSR Nautical Engineering College in 1979, following a period at the Orel Art School. He is an Officier d’Arts et de Lettres (France) and a member of the Russian Academy of Arts. In 2007 he represented Russia at the 52nd Venice Biennale, and in 2009 docked his handmade submarine, SubTiziano, on the Grand Canal as an Official Collateral Project of the 53rd Biennale. In 2012 he represented the Ukraine at the 13th Venice Biennale of Architecture. His works are in major public collections worldwide.