Roman Ondak, Swap, 2011
Re-performed for Kaldor Public Art Project 27: 13 Rooms, curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney, 11-21 April 2013
born 1966 in Žilina, Slovakia
lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia
Roman Ondak’s installations, performances and interventions are often thoughtful and humorous, provoking a double-take by viewers and making them question their preconceptions and modes of interaction. Swap, 2011, merges art with everyday life. Ondak selects a performer to wait behind a table and asks them to choose an object, which remains on the table until the first visitor enters the room. Visitors are given the opportunity to swap the object with anything else they would be willing to exchange—a coin or a watch, a feather or a piece of paper—setting in motion an ongoing chain of barter and exchange. Each day the last object remains on the table until the following morning, and at the close of the exhibition the final performer takes with them the remaining object of that day.
Ondak has presented numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world. He has been included in the Venice Biennale, 2003, 2009 and 2011, Berlin Biennale, 2010, and documenta, 2012, in Kassel, Germany.