Roman Ondak, ‘Swap’, 2011, Fondation Beyeler
Roman Ondak, ‘Swap’, 2011, Fondation Beyeler

A performer sits behind a table like a vendor, with an object he brings along. Once the first visitor enters the room, the performer tries to swap his object with any object the visitor might be carrying with him and which he is willing to give up in exchange for the performer’s object. This sets in motion an endless chain of barter and communication which will go on for the entire duration of the exhibition.

Alternate image:
Swap, 2011, R11 Rooms Manchester International Festival,
Photo credit courtesy Manchester City Galleries

Image rights: Courtesy Kaldor Public Art Projects

Performed for 13 Rooms at Kaldor Public Art Projects during the 27th Kaldor Public Art Project in 2013

About Roman Ondak

Roman Ondák’s videos, installations, and objects invite viewers to question their relationships to the artworks, as well as to the sites in which they are displayed. In his 2011 film Stampede, Ondák used night vision to film hundreds of people crowd into and exit a gallery’s rooms. The film was projected into the same room it displayed onscreen, implicating viewers in the film’s workings and mimicking the spectators on film as they quietly observed the nonevent. The film also speaks to Ondák’s subtle and recurring meditation on his Soviet upbringing, which sometimes takes the form of staged events that invoke the crowding and queuing often seen during that era, translating the phenomena to contexts in which they can take on new meanings.

Slovakian, b. 1966, Zilina, Slovakia

Group Shows

Buenos Aires,

Fair History on Artsy

Esther Schipper at Frieze London 2017
Esther Schipper at Art Basel 2017
Esther Schipper at Frieze New York 2017
View Artist's CV