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Biography:

Adrian Melis Sosa (1985. b. Havana, Cuba)
is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist who has developed an international career based between Cuba and Europe. Between 2005 and 2010, Melis studied in the University of Arts in Havana and during that period his artistic practice took shaped during the intensive program offered by the Catedra of Behavioural Art directed by the internationally renown performance artist Tania Bruguera. He is a former resident of the Rijksakademie van Beldeende Kunsten of Amsterdam (2014/2015). His work  has been shown in several major museums and institutions such as Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland), Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland), Wiels Brussels (Belgium), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Pinchuk Art Center (Kiev, Ukraine), Pori Art Museum (Pori, Finland), De Appel Arts Center (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Queens Museum of Art (NY, USA), Rotterdam Film Festival (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), 10th Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, China), 12th Kaunas Biennale (Kaunas, Lithuania), among others. Since 2010 he is represented by Adn Galeria (Barcelona, Spain) where in 2012 and 2013 he received the Award Art Nou by the Association of Galleries in Barcelona and the GAC Award (MACBA) for Best Exhibition in a Private Gallery in Barcelona, respectively.  His work has been included in several art fairs including: ARCO Madrid, LOOP Barcelona, ArtBrussels, Artissima, FIAC Officielle Art Fair, VOLTA10. His work is in private and public collections, including: Pori Art Museum (Finland) MAS Santander (Spain), MACBA Barcelona (Spain), Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia (Spain), Collection Patrick Chiche (Belgium), Collection los Bragales, Jaime R. Sordo (Spain), Collection Alain Servais (Belgium), Collection Lemaître (France), Collection A. de Galbert (France), Collection Teixeiras da Freitas (Portugal). 

About Melis’s practice: Having being exposed to two completely different socio-economic systems, Europe and Cuba, Melis observes how these two distinct societies generate and function, with all their inherent contradictions. Specifically, he looks at the different concepts of “labour” within both market systems and how ideologies interfere with it, which as a result affect not only the economy but also the social fabric and behaviours. Melis was raised during the collapse of the socialist economic model in Cuba. As a consequence through his practice he began creating absurd production structures utilising art as a tool to create the illusion of productivity in a totally unproductive system. With that conclusion, he realises that in a nonproductive system the concept of being productive is more closely related to art than reality itself. It is in this paradoxical way of understanding Labour where he situates the core of his practice. At the same time, his interest in the relation between Labour and Art is activated through disciplines and stimuli he gathers from: anthropological studies, politics, journalism, behavioural psychology, statistics and economics to give shape to his interpretation of a variety of concepts that include gainful unemployment, absurd bureaucratic and corrupt systems, political silences, the materialization of absence, inmaterial labour, creative destruction and obsessive repetition.

CV

STUDIES & RESIDENCIES

2018
Times Museum Art Residency, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China
2014-2015
Rijksakademie van Beldeende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2005-2010
University of Arts (ISA) Havana, Cuba
2007-2009
Degree from the Chair of Arte Conducta, Havana, Cuba
2000-2004
San Alejandro, Fine Arts Academic, Havana, Cuba


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020
Terra Asciutta, curated by Chiara Pirozzi and Alessandra Troncone, Underneath the Arches - Aqueduct of Serino, Naples, Italy
2768. 23,53. 8. 1958. 57%. 1000, Pori Contemporary Art Museum, Pori, Finland
2018
Selective Memory, Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
Land of Plenty, curated by Tamara Díaz Bringas, El Apartamento gallery, Havana, Cuba
2017
Selected Works, curated by Melanie Kress, High Line, New York, USA
Absolute silence does not exist, curated by FCAYC and Denise Araouzou, Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia, León, Spain
Empty Page, Kunstlehrstuhl Baden, Baden, Switzerland
2015
No Admittance, curated by Renata Cervetto, De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Surplus Production Line, ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
The New Man, Project Space, Centrum, Berlin, Germany
2013
Time to Relax, ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
The Value of Absence, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Dreams Production Plan, EspaiDos, Terrassa, Spain
2012
STOCK, Museum of Modern Art (MAS), Santander, Spain
New Production Structures, ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2020
Engagement Rate Formula, Short Films, Rotterdam International Film Festival, (IFFR) Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Site Specific, Screening at Carleton College, Minnesota, USA
2019
Cubical Fever, Studio Trama34, Barcelona, Spain
Pourquoi faire; pourquoi faire, ETE78, Brussel, Belgium
5994 is just a number, Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
Af-Fair #2, Studio Trama34, Barcelona, Spain
The Golden Age of Cuban Video Art, Cuban Cinémathèque québécoise, Montreal, Canada
12 Kaunas Biennale, ‘After Leaving | Before Arriving’, curated by Elisabeth Del Prete, Daniel Milnes, Lýdia Pribišová, Neringa Stoškutė, Alessandra Troncone, Kaunas, Lithuania
Survival Kit, Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, curated by Solvita Krese, Inga Lace and Ángels Miralda, Riga, Latvia
Anatomy of Political Melancholy, curated by Katerina Gregos, Athens Conservatory, Greece
I’m always in the other, curated by Beral Madra, Agah Uğur Collection, Museum Evliyagil, Turkey
No habrá nunca una puerta. Estás adentro, Teixeira de Freitas Collection, curated by Luiza Teixeira, Sala de Arte Santander, Madrid


2018
Otro amanecer en el trópico-Contemporary Cuban artistic practices, curated by Tereza de Aruda and Abel González, Stiftung Reinbeckhallen Sammlung für Gegenwartskunst, Berlin, Germany
Ola Cuba, Lille, France
Chi Utopia mangia le mele, curated by Adriana Polveroni and Gabriele Tosi, Soprintendenza archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio Verona, Rovigo e Vicenza, Corte Dogana, Verona, Italy
Art Souterrain festival 2018, LABOR IMPROBUS, Montreal, Canada


2017
On/Off, Ciclo de artistas cubanos, Maison Européenne de la photographie, Paris, France
Video Art in Latinoamerica, Glenn Phillips (GRI) and Elena Shtromberg LAXART, Los Angeles, USA
Salon de Arte Contemporaneo, CDAV, Havana, Cuba
Art Weekend program, curated by Direlia Lazo, Habana, Cuba
You&I, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa
Image du monde laborieux, Art Digital Center, Paris, France
Open Form, curated by Denise Araouzou, Athens, Greece
Post-Peace, curated by Katia Krupennikova, Nest, The Hague, Netherlands Ciutat de Vacances, Museu de Art Modern I Contemporani de Palma
Rumors of Glory, Basis, Frankfurt, Germany
Videocreation in Cuba, curated by Emma S. Barrientos, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin TX
Post-Peace, Curated by Katia Krupennikova, Würtembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany
First Day of Good Weather, Latin American Art, Coceived by Despacio, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, Germany
Belief in the power of Gesture, Projektraum LS44, Berlin, Germany
Valor de Uso, Centro Wilfredo Lam, curated by Danielo Villegas and Laura de la Colina, Havana, Cuba
Post-Peace, curated by Katia Krupennikova, Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany Intérims (Art contre emploi), La Panaceé, Montpellier, France


2016
Connecting Cuba, De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Todas las vidas, X Bienal Centroamericana, San José, Costa Rica
Crisis of Presence, curated by Luigi Fassi, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland
The Agony and the Ecstasy: Latin American art in the collections of Mallorca: a review based on Contemporaneity, curated by Nekane Aramburu, Es Baluard Museu d’ Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Teesside World Exposition of Art and Technology, MIMA, Middlesbrough, UK
No One Belongs Here More Than You, Despacio, San José, Costa Rica
Yes I can! Curated by Sébastien Planas, Centre d’ art contemporain Walter Benjamin, Perpignan, France
MACBA Collection31, MACBA, Barcelona, Spain.
Untitled (two takes on crisis), De Appel Arts Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands Groupe Mobile, curated by Mélanie Bouteloup & Virginie Bobin, VilleVassilieff, Paris, France
Kamarado, co-curated by Zasha Colah, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai & New Delhi, India
Hors Pistes: Une autre mouvement des images - L’art de la révolte, curated by Geraldine Gomez, Centre Pompidou, Málaga, Spain
Hors Pistes: Une autre mouvement des images - L’art de la révolte, curated by Geraldine GomezCentre Pompidou, Paris, France
Experiencias 6, Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporaneo de Santander, Santander, Spain
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Bread and Roses, MOMA Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw, Poland


2015
CPH: MARKET, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
Creating Common Good, curated by Robert Punkenhofen in coopertaion with Zaida Trallero and Ursula Maria Probst, Vienna Art Week, Viena, Austria
Kamarado, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The as-if-principle, curated by Sabine Winkler, Magazin4–Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregnez, Austria
Tener que Sentir, Colección Los Bragales Arte Contemporáneo, Gijón, Spain Tedium Vitae: On Mediation, ADN Platform, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona La distancia adequada, a 5 video project curated by Alexandra Laudo, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona, Spain
Popposition OFF-Fair (Servais collection), Brussels, Belgium
O que você vê nao o que você percebe, Emma Thomas Gallery, Sao Paolo, Brasil
Atopolis, Manège de Sury, supported by the WIELS contemporary art centre Mons, Belgium
Engagements, Poitiers Museum, Poitiers, France
Everything Was Forever: Until It Was No More, Akinici Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


2014
Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, MoMA, New York, USA
RijksakademieOPEN, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Permanent Playfullness, curated by Camilla Barella, Mendes Wood DM,
São Paulo, Brasil
10th Shanghai Biennale, curated by Anselm Franke, Shanghai, China
Forms of Distancing, Steirischer Herbst festival, Graz, Austria
Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine
In Search of Lost Time, curated by Ronit Eden, Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Economie Humaine, HEC École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Paris, France Frestes - Trienal de Artes de Brasil, Sorocaba, Sâo Paulo, Brasil.
Barcelona Inspira, Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc, Barcelona, Spain
Ibi et Nunc: Sobre paradójicas democráticas, curated by Imma Prieto, Fabra i Coats Centre d’Art Contemporary, Barcelona, Spain
Activaciones, Neue Gallerie, curated by Karin Jaschkem Innsbruck, Austria Habitar, Construir, Pensar. Poéticas y perspectivas discursivas en el Videoarte Cubano Contemporáneo (2000-2012), Havana, Cuba
Espacio de Creación Contemporánea ECCO, curated by Dennys Matos and Iván de la Torre, Amerighi Cádiz, Spain


2013
Group Show, D+T Project Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Occupying Building, Thinking: Poetic and Discursive Perspectives on Contemporary Cuban Video Art (1990-2010), University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL
Jetztzeit, Centre d’Art la Panera, Lleida, Spain
In the heart of the country, The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland EspaiDos, Terrasa, Spain
Artlab, Queens Museum of Art, New York
Casa Solleric, Fundació Palma, Espai d’Art, Palma de Mallorca, Spain


2012
Fuck Off o pá la pinga con todo, Bienal de la Habana, La Habana, Cuba
Arte40 Prize, selected artists. c arte c, Centro Arte Complutense, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain


2011
Arte Útil, curated by Tania Bruguera y DEMOCRACIA Off Limits, Madrid, Spain
Experience Pommery #9 - La Fabrique sonore, Domaine Pommery, Reims, France.
Auditorium Moscow, A Sketch for a Public Space, Belie Palaty, Moscow, Russia Somewhere Else, curated by Direlia Lazo, Galeria Noguerasblanchard, Barcelona, Spain
How To Work (More for) Less, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
How To Work, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Temor y deseo de ser devorados, Bòlit Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Girona, Spain


2010
XXXI Bienal de Pontevedra, Universidad de Vigo, Vigo, Spain
Urban Research, Festival Directors Lounge, Berlin, Germany
II Festival Internacional Cine Cubano de Munich, Munich, Germany
Residencias Batiscafo, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, La Habana, Cuba
Per Diem, Betonsalon, Paris, France
Atmósfera, Teatro Bertold Brecht, La Habana, Cuba
Factoría Habana 10 bienal de La Habana, La Factoría, La Habana, Cuba Evento teórico 10 bienal de La Habana, I.S.A., La Habana, Cuba
Arte, salud y sociedad, 10 bienal de La Habana, Hospital psiquiátrico de La Habana, La Habana, Cuba
Estado de excepción, 10 bienal de La Habana, Galería Habana, La Habana, Cuba Octava muestra de nuevos realizadores, ICAIC, La Habana, Cuba
Presentación de audiovisuales, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina
Video experimental y video arte: Artistas de Cuba, Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia


2008
Curadores go home, Espacio Aglutinador, La Habana, Cuba
Inventarios, Fundación Ludwig de Cuba, La Habana, Cuba
Le Fresnoy Habana Remix, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, La Habana, Cuba 7ma Muestra de Jóvenes Realizadores, La Habana, Cuba
El Reparto, galería Ciudades del Mundo, La Habana, Cuba


2007
Socialist Movements, Beijing Biennale, Beijing, China
Inventarios, Fundación Ludwing de Cuba, Havana, Cuba
3ra Muestra de audiovisuales, Visitaciones al héroe, variaciones de la duda, Sala Zero, French Aliance, Havana, Cuba
Bueno, Bonito y Barato, CLOSE-UP, Mexico City, Mexico
Ni a favor ni en contra, Facultad de artes y Letras, Havana, Cuba
Rescribible, Arte de Conducta workshop, house of Tania Bruguera, Havana, Cuba


2006
Bueno, Bonito y Barato, private house, Havana, Cuba
Presentation to the 9th Bienal de la Habana, Arte de Conducta workshop, house of Tania Bruguera, Havana, Cuba


ART FAIRS


2019
LOOP ART FAIR, Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
2018
ARCO, Adn Galeria, Madrid, Spain
2017
ArtBrussels, Adn Galeria, Brussels, Belgium
2016
LOOP ART FAIR, Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
ARCO, Adn Galeria, Madrid, Spain
2015
FIAC Officielle Art Fair, Adn Galeria, Paris, France
Artissima Art Fair, Adn Galeria, Turín, Italy
ArtBrussels, Adn Galeria, Brussels, Belgium
ARCO, Adn Galeria, Madrid, Spain
2014
Untitled, Adn Galeria, Miami, USA
Artissima Art Fair, ADN Galeria, Turín, Italy
ArtRio, Adn Galeria, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
VOLTA10, Adn Galeria, Basel, Switzerland
LOOP, Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
ARCO, Adn Galeria, Madrid, Spain
2013
ArtBrussels, Adn Galeria, Brussels, Belgium
ARCO, Adn Galeria, Madrid, Spain
2012
LOOP, Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
SWAB Adn Galeria, Madrid, Spain


AWARDS

2013
Art Nou by Abe (Association of Galleries from Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain
Award GAC for the best exhibition in 2012 in a private gallery, Barcelona, Spain
2006
Bueno, Bonito y barato project awarded by Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, Spanish Embassy, Cuba
                                   

ADQUISITIONS

Pori Art Museum, Finland
MAS Santander, Spain
MACBA Barcelona, Spain
Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej – Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland Collection Morra Greco, Naples, Italy
Collection Patrik Chiche, Belgium
Collection los Bragales, Jaime R. Sordo, Spain
Collection Alain Servais, Belgium
Collection Lemaître, France
Collection Kadist, France
Collection A. de Galbert, France
Collection Teixeiras da Freitas, Portugal


PUBLICATIONS

Jerome Sans and Laura Salas Redondo, “Cuba Talks, interview to 28 Cuban artist”, 2019, Rizzoli Editoriale.
Nathalie Desmet, “In search of unproductive time”, Esse, Travail/Labour, (Issue 94, Fall), 2018. Ed.
Friederike Sigler, Whitechapel: “Documents of Contemporary Art, WORK”. London: Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press, 2017.
Exhibition Catalogue Ed. Nicolas Bourriaud, “INTERIMS: Art for employment”, Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2017.
Exhibition Catalogue “Frestas Trienal de artes 2014-2015”, São Paulo: SESC, 2016. Mailyn Machado, “Fuera de revoluciones. Dos décadas de arte en Cuba”. Leiden: Almenara, 2016
Exhibition Catalogue Eds. Raphael Pirenne, Sebastien Biset, “ATOPOLIS”, Brussels: WIELS, (sic), 2015.
Exhibition Catalogue Eds. Dario Cimorelli, “ENGAGEMENTS: Collectionner/ Partage”, Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2015.
Exhibition Catalogue Eds. Stefano Collicelli Cagol, Luigi Fassi and Steirischer Herbst, “Forms of Distancing: Representative Politics and the Politics of Representation”, Milan: Mousse Publishing, 2014.
Artist Catalogue: Adrian Melis - “The Value of Absence”. Barcelona:
ADN Galeria, 2013
Catalogue: Adrian Melis - “Dreams Production Plan by State-Run companies in Cuba”. Barcelona: ADN Galeria, 2013
Article: Direlia Lazo, “Adrian Melis: From Havana to Kunsthalle”, Art Nexus, (No. 85, Volume 11), 2012