Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present “Adopt Lenin,” our first solo exhibition of new work by Russian-born New York artist Yevgeniy Fiks. Continuing his exploration of the post-Soviet dialog and the legacy of attitudes about Communism in the West today, Fiks presents a critique of the commodification and fetishization of the Russian Revolution’s legacy and imagery.

Over the 15 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, revolutionary memorabilia, including Lenin’s memorabilia, have become a fetish of the post-Communist era, something that has a clear market value, a “Communist antiquity,” sold for souvenirs. In this project, Fiks attempts to free Revolutionary icons, with a particular focus on Lenin’s memorabilia, from the market and negate their market value.

Throughout 2008 Fiks has been purchasing Lenin’s memorabilia at his own expense, including Lenin’s busts, small statues, posters, photographs, etc. These objects will be on display at the gallery from September 5 – October 4, 2008. Over the course of the exhibition (except during the opening reception), visitors can place a reserve on any available object, on a first-come—first-served basis, and then take it away for free, after the show closes. The reserved objects will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. To place an object on reserve, however, a visitor will have to sign an agreement between Winkleman Gallery and his- or herself certifying that he or she will never sell, or otherwise enter this object in the market, or make any profit from this object in any shape or form. A copy of the signed agreement will be also exhibited as part of the exhibition.

In a statement about the exhibition, Fiks noted, “The choice to adopt Lenin on the part of an audience member is not a manifestation of her/his subscription to communist ideology, but rather an acknowledgement of Communism as one of defining features of the 20th century historical narrative.”

Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has been working in New York since 1994. Among his projects on the subject of the Post-Soviet dialog in the West are “Lenin for Your Library?” in which he mailed V.I.Lenin’s text “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism” to one hundred global corporations as a donation for their corporate library; “Communist Party USA,” a series of portraits of current members of Communist Party USA, which he painted from life in the Party’s national headquarters in New York City; and “Communist Guide to New York City,” a series of photographs of buildings and public places in New York City that are connected to the history of the American Communist movement. Fiks’ work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Common Room 2, NY (2008); Contemporary City Foundation, Moscow, Russia (2008); Marat Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia (2007); Lenin-Museo, Tampere, Finland (2007); State Museum of Russian Political History, St. Petersburg, Russia (2006); ARTStrelka Projects, Moscow, Russia (2005). Selected group exhibitions include Biennale of Sydney (2008); Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007); and Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007 and 2005).

For more information, please contact Edward Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or info@winkleman.com

Press

Sydney, "De-fetishizing Lenin Kitsch," Thing Theory Blog, February 3, 2009

Michael Harvey, Art in America, January 2009

Paddy Johnson, "Yevgeniy Fiks at Winkleman Gallery," Artfagcity, October 2, 2008

Catherine Spaeth, "All in One Day: The Gallery Give-Away in Changing Economies," catherinesarttours.blogspot.com, September 29, 2008

Daniel Larkin, "The Russian Soldier," ArtCal Zine, September 19, 2008

Colby Chamberlain, "Critics' Picks, Yevgeniy Fiks," artforum.com, 9/16/08

Yaelle Amir , "Lenin Re-Commodified," ArtSlant New York, Artslant, 9/14/08

Yevgeniy Fiks

Adopt Lenin
September 5 - October 4, 2008
Opens September 5, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Installation Views

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," Installation view

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," Installation view

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," installation view.

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," installation view.

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," installation view.

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," installation view.

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," installation view.

Yevgeniy Fiks, "Adopt Lenin," installation view.

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Works

Adopt Lenin (installation view)

Yevgeniy Fiks, Adopt Lenin (installation view), 2009


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