Alexander Ponomarev

A sunny polar day that never ends.
Frosty air at its purest.
White snow.
Towns sprawling on ice
And receding into the depth with their tentacles.
Polar stations have flitted down like snowflakes onto the snow,
They are warm inside, full of light
And flowers in bloom.

Dwellings grow like crystals
And twinkle in the air.
Levitation laws are already known,
And, like flying saucers,
Houses move from town to town
Over the continent.
People live amidst animals, fish and birds:
All of them have the same right to life.

Water abounds, no hydrocarbons.
We have learned to use
The earth’s magnetic-field energy
And that of the Ocean’s thermal machines.
It is infinite and clean.
Different people speak different languages,
But nationalities are no more –
Scientists and Artists form the society’s core.

CREATIVITY is the only word
Inscribed on the continent’s white flag.
yes, it is a Utopia,
Or rather
But to invent and build Utopias
And then live in them is
What my avocation is all about.

An Antarctic biennale is quite a realistic project.
I’ve conceived it
As a sailing trip, a movement and a cultural adventure.
I have already covered this route
More than once.
I like to share a flavour that I’ve tasted myself,
To introduce my friends to each other and make them friends
As happens when we sit down to a festive table for a celebration.

A team of artists, poets, architects and scientists
Are narrowing down their personal territory.
Now it is the deck of a research ship.
We will rock together on the waves
Of the Drake Passage, grapple with the hardships of sea life,
Slide the loxodrome down south
Without any support,
And disappear suddenly behind the ice-floes.

So let us sign up as sufferers of space,
Leave important matters aside,
Have an airing like a flag
And flick the words and meanings
Away onto paper,
As if they were crumbs on the table.
All sorts of talents will find themselves on the bridge,
Capable of unreserved emotions and joy.

They’ll overcome the distance of mutual alienation
And look at themselves and their feelings
From the extremities.
Our ship will visit harbours and bays
To hide from the wind.
The team will go ashore and everyone
Will be able to make a unique piece of work
In the snow, ice or water.

We won’t leave a scratch on the white body of Antarctica.
We’ll spread the noosphere a bit,
Record and document our presence,
And dismantle our objects and installations.

Our vessel will then move on and, renewed,
Make an appearance at a new place.
Our ships will become laboratories
For artworks to be made and transported.

These centres of creativity,
Communication and debate
Will sail, skirting icebergs, islands and capes,
And encourage an artistic attitude
With fairytale landscapes.
A topsy-turvy Biennale!
An upside-down Biennale,
Mobile in mobile.

Blood ties connect Antarctica and Venice: If Antarctica melts,
Venice will sink.
Apparently, that’s what makes them
So much alike.
Both have indented coastlines
And numerous islands
And what pleases the eye.

Of course, if you look from Marcello Palazzo altana,
The liners skirting the horizon,
Leaving the marina
And drifting towards the Malamocco,
Are veritable icebergs,
And the little silhouettes of huddled penguin-like passengers
Rejoice and shout,
especially when passing San Marco.
Who knows, perhaps, if the earth’s axis shifts again,
venice won’t sink, but hide under the ice like Plato’s Atlantis,
Its beauty conserved for the future generations.
Or take the Giardini, change the green for the white,
and there you have the national pavilions as representative polar stations.
Only in summer though; in winter everything stands still, conserved.
Then expeditions change, together with the commissars, curators and artists,
and studies resume.

The biennale presents the disparity of nations:
The territories are separated and competing.
Meanwhile, in accordance with the 1959 treaty,
The principles of interaction
And life in Antarctica
Have long set a unique precedent
Of people of different tongues
Living and working together creatively.

Nothing of the sort is found
anywhere else on the globe!
Differences between people wear off
On contact with the icy nature
of the polar zones,
Like iceberg edges
are worn away
By winds and water.

The Antarctica pavilion in venice
Will accumulate and present
Approaches, strategies and talents
That demonstrate a capacity for
Civilised interactions
With space
And one another.
We count on the possibility of
Obtaining the status of an official pavilion
Of the oldest biennale of venice
And jointly working out a way of
Presenting the continent
where 45 nations
Are capable of living and working
In concert.

One hundred and ninety-four years ago
explorers on the decks of the Mirny and the vostok
of Bellingshausen’ and Lazarev’s expedition
Saw the snow-white Antarctic land,
And the artist Pavel Mikhailov made
The first drawings of the coastline.
And art thus came
to those latitudes.

The number of artefacts found
In the many decades of exploratio
n Of the fifth continent
Makes it possible to speak
Of a New Cultural Landscape
Linked with the unique
Natural Landscape.
I suggest we continue to explore them together.