Oleksii Salmanov

Oleksii Salmanov was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in 1976. He is the holder of Pinchuk Art Centre Prize 2009 and had completed an apprenticeship at Olafur Eliasson’s studio in Berlin in 2010. Salmanov did not receive any formal training in art. Oleksii lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine. He works with different media wich are photograph, video, objects, installations, performative practices, site-specific also. He took part in many exhibition and art events in Lviv ( “Everything mine is with me”, The days of performance ), Kiev ( Exhibition of the shortlisted PinchukArtCentre Prize nominees, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine), Odessa ( “From street to museum”, Museum of contemporary art of Odessa ), Moscow ( “Don`t even think about it!”, ruarts gallery, the 4th international biennal of the young art), Amsterdam ( Kunstvaai – festival of independents ), New York ( “Dance-trash-glamour”, Sputnik Gallery ), Stockholm (Supermarket artfair), Tel Aviv ( Videozone V: The 5th International VideoArt Biennal).

^ means ^adders

This project is my dedication to the history and future of Katowice and at the same time to graffiti subculture.
As a graffiti writer I am using in Katowice my new graffiti tag which is not a drawing on  walls but a ladder literally. Here are the reasons why my tag is a ladder.

1. Subcultural.

Graffiti writers often use a ladder as a tool to draw on the walls. My gesture is turning the ladder as tool for doing graffiti to graffiti itself. I am dropping my ladder-tag in different places of Katowice. This kind of tag means for me my transmission from the usual graffiti to metaphysical form of this phenomenon.

2. Historical.

In the beginning of the 16th century Katowice was just a small village with two hundreds of inhabitants. Starting from the 18th century the big mining and metal industry gave to this  place powerful economical and social development – the mining industry became the base for good social welfare. But post-industrial times at the end of the 20th century all over the Europe were hard times for Silesia as well becuase of slowly closing mines and industry. So now I can see that this region is trying to find new ways for the economical and social development in the new hi-tech era. This process is not that  simple, its not done and will take some time in the future time. I consider my ladder-tag as a symbolic tool for the jump in to the future.

3. Political.

My ladders visually look like tribunes and I’m considering them as methaphorical tribunes for all people and communities of Katowice, located all over the city. I’m “giving” these tribunes to everybody in the city as an open and equal opportunity to climb it up and  immediately :
make any statement about his/her or community’s problem
declare his/her or community’s rights
claim his/her or community’s rights.
Exactly equal opportunities make me use in this project identical and same ladders. During my first month of staying here I saw a few political actions  by groups of people who were appealing to the city and doing some statements and claims.

4. Ecological.

I consider my ladders as symbolical way to the new technologies that are giving to the people alternative sourses of energy such as sun batteries and those big “propellers” in countryside that accumulate energy of wind. And there’s also another point of my care about local environment and ecology. By this project I strongly mean not to use graffiti can paints to draw something on the wall and so I avoid this way damaging local environment with very toxical materials. This is graffiti “eco bombing” for me.

5. Landscape.

My ladders put in the Katowice landscape visually remind of the triangle shape of local gothic churches which are the significant part of local history and architecture.