March, 2021

Glasgow Film Festival
No New Normal: Absurdity of Labour, Monitored & Alt Worlds
March 13th, 2021
Engagement Rate Formula (2019)
Surplus Production Line (2014)

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A reader on the work of Adrian Melis
248 pages
supported by Pori Art Museum (Pori, Finland), Adn Galeria (Barcelona) and Publics (Helsinski)

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Online Seminar THE PARADOX OF ART AND LABOUR: socio-political practices as forms of artistic expression
from March 2nd until March 24th, 2021

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November, 2020


Adrian Melis and Javier Castro
Curated by Laura Baigorri

Loop Film Festival, 2020
Casa Elizarde
Barcelona, Spain

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Homeland “Borderlines”

Loop Film Festival, 2020

Damer House Gallery, Safia Art Contemporari, LOOP, and CAGE Gallery

HOMELAND ‘BORDERLINE’ deals with the idea of boundary and border—a border, a dividing line, or indeed the borderline between friendship and love. Borders are marginal, problematic, and uncertain in the new times of Covid19. The exhibition is composed of two programs: a selection of videos created by Irish artists and a program composed of videos that participated in the LOOP festival 2019 edition.

Date: 12 November 2020, 7:00pm
Address: C/ Cortines 23, Bajos, 08003, Barcelona.


September, 2020

Terra asciutta (Dry Land)

Curated by Chiara Pirozzi and Alessandra Troncone
In collaboration with Associazione VerginiSanità

Opening: Saturday the 26th of September, 11.30 am
From September 27 till November 15, 2020

The third exhibition of Underneath the Arches consists of a site specific intervention by Adrian Melis (Havana, 1985), titled Terra asciutta (Dry Land).

Adrian Melis’ artistic research is based on the analysis of specific socio-economic contexts, starting from Cuba, his homeland, and moving to the European countries where he has worked in recent years. Using themes and dynamics related to work, Melis creates mechanisms that exploit initial scarcities as a possible productive force, in some cases creating real production lines that involve third parties in achieving his objectives.

With his project titled Terra asciutta, created specifically for Underneath the Arches, the artist analyses and reveals the gap between the “active” and necessary function that the Roman Aqueduct had in the past, and the “passive” and conservative role that the same structure has nowadays. Through a strongly symbolic action, Adrian Melis triggers a new process, capable of restoring vitality and functionality to the place, thus transforming the archaeological heritage into a productive rather than just contemplative site. The artist reactivates the original flow of water by recruiting a workforce in the Vergini-Sanità area and through the experimental use of Foley art techniques. The poetic enterprise, which is even vain in its fleetingness, involves the audience in an immersive experience, both on the occasion of the opening, when a performative action will be underway, and during the exhibition, through an environmental installation conceived site-specifically by the artist.

This project is realized with the contribution of Regione Campania, under the Matronage of Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee of Naples, and under the patronage of the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. It is kindly supported by Fondazione Morra and MANN – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di

article about the performance (italian version):

March, 2020

2768. 23,53. 8. 1958. 57%. 1000
Solo Show at Pori Art Museum
Pori, Finland
Vernissage: March 21st
20.03.2020 - 30.08.2020


“[Creative destruction] is a process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one

— Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942)

For artist Adrian Melis and many others living in Cuba in the early 1990s reality was defined by the long shadow cast by Fidel Castro’s glorious revolution and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Shaped by this paradoxical state of existence, Adrian Melis’s practice can be described as a series of inconspicuous interventions, often poetic and surreal, which address systemic political and corporate corruption, political apathy, labour markets, bureaucratic inefficiency, and their effects on the social fabric. He has developed an extensive body of work articulated through videos, photography and installations. Adrian Melis’s upcoming solo exhibition at Pori Art Museum, titled 2768. 23,53. 8. 1958. 57%. 1000, consists of a selection of older and recent works. Adrian Melis’s work and methodology are markedly influenced by Fidel Castro’s schemes for economic growth. Intricate and often absurd, these experiments — orchestrated by a figure that could only be described as a mad scientist — failed disastrously, each time further dismantling the country’s vulnerable economy. Each work in the exhibition can be perceived as fluctuating between states of production and destruction, and as a whole, 2768. 23,53. 8. 1958. 57%. 1000 reveals potential in the creative destruction of grand ideas.


. Screening of the film
Engagement Rate Formula (2019)
International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR)
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

. Screening of the Films Ovation (2012/19)
and The making of forty rectangular pieces
for a floor construction (2008)
Carleton College, Minessota, USA