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 Soviet Revolution’s 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 4 – October 4, 2008. Over the course of the exhibition (expect 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, 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.”