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): https://www.juorno.it/i-suoni-produttivi-del-ventre-di-napoli-in-terra-asciutta-lopera-di-adriano-melis-alla-sanita/?fbclid=IwAR3D-zc8Jppb2fjj8GkmJY5YDW4XN3Ri-AGqhExxfdENkS5kqeLnvCpI6x4
2768. 23,53. 8. 1958. 57%. 1000
Solo Show at Pori Art Museum
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