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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » March 27, 2013
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Artistic Contraband
March 27, 2013   
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Work by two young Ukrainian artists, Yasia Khomenko and Gamlet, is on display at the Zachęta Project Room in an exhibition entitled Contraband.

Khomenko and Gamlet came up with the idea for the exhibition while on a short study visit to Warsaw. Their shared experience as artists hailing from outside the EU’s area of free movement of people and goods (and works of art) made them think of their artistic projects as contraband and of themselves as sort of artistic smugglers.

Depicting scenes of getting ready to hit the road and of a journey itself, Khomenko focuses on travelers arriving from “the wrong” side of the border, people who are automatically treated with suspicion, as if they were potential smugglers.

Gamlet, who is firmly established on Ukraine’s art scene, produces traditional paintings on canvas, mostly postindustrial landscapes and portraits. He also paints murals that resemble comic strips, propaganda posters and street art. One such work is a black-and-white mural he has produced especially for the exhibition at the Zachęta Project Room. The artist “smuggled” it across the border in his head and then recreated the images and text on the gallery’s walls.

Gamlet is also an avid collector of antiques and of the human stories they contain. He works his finds and old photographs into collages, combines them with drawings and, sometimes, compiles the results in albums and other publications. Several of his collages are on display at the Zachęta Project Room.

Until April 21; Zachęta Project Room; 3 Gałczyńskiego St.
tel. 22 826-01-36, open Tue.-Sun. noon-8 p.m.
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