Demain, Stabilisation: Adrien Missika

11 Nov 2017 - 11 Jan 2018

Adrien Missika’s Demain, Stabilisation presents a body of work that draws on the artist’s continuous reflections on ecology, metabolism and our relationship with the environment. The exhibition includes a series of sculptural works that operate as narrative structures, combining diverse artistic strategies that explore humour within conceptual art perimeters, the subtlety of existential poetics through diagrammatic sculptures of light and a performative revision of archival practices as an open form. The very promise of the title, Demain, Stabilisation (tomorrow, stabilisation), announces a state of deferred accomplishment, implicating the present as an entropic zone where homeostasis is possible, yet always postponed, evoking the denialist responses to the current climate crisis.


The installation Better Safe Than Sorry takes the form of an open archive, including a series of custom-made soil bags shaped in concrete canvas, a patented material used for ditch lining and the construction of slopes or bunkers. Suggesting the form of a contaminated archive susceptible to mutation, each bag holds a rich quantity of soil, with one containing a variety of open pollinated seeds that can be collected by the visitor, inciting the cultivation and propagation of non-patented seeds. Treating soil as a rare earth material, each bag is unique in shape, some displaying cuts or intersections that allude to dissemination and potential accidental forms of fertilisation. At the same time, the work’s title reminds us of the preventive acts needed in times of severe change – as an example, the creation of the first seed bank in northern Norway, Vault.


The Relative Naive is a mechanic device for climate stabilisation that works through condensation and mist dispersal. Water is contained in a bottle attached to an apparatus for humidity extraction, representing a closed circuit. This witty prototype geo-engineering scale model, while underlining the absurdity of climatized spaces, represents the artificial conditions of conservation archives. It leaves the space with 50% humidity, providing an atmospheric relief in the gallery given the arrival of the rainy season. Directly addressing the urban planning efficiency systems and new thermodynamic strategies of cities, The Relative Naive reminds us that climate control comes from a position of fake neutrality, a class discriminatory attempt to erase discomfort for some, while creating other sorts of entropic responses. At the same time, the state of cool naiveté whispered by the alpine landscape on the logo of the Evian bottles does not exclude the cruel economy of bottled natural resources in an era of increased nature patenting.


Plus ou Moins (Psychometric Portrait) includes 12 wall sculptures of modified hygrometers inscribed with different personal emotions: from delusion, anxiety and belief to serenity and empathy. Switching psychrometrics – the measurement of humidity – with psychometrics  – the categorisation of mental capacities and processes  – we are taken through a survey of one’s mood swings and fragilities, and their fluctuations with the changing weather. These words can be read in the calligraphic inscriptions traced on the frontal parts of the hygrometers, leaving a subtle imprint of a human hand in this piece of industrial technology, where the measurements’ results depend, as if by magic, on the reaction of a hidden human hair. The perfected quality of the professional calligrapher mirrors that of an enchanted printer, or an industrial foreteller. We are introduced to a bionic gesture that appeals, as well, to a mechanic subjectivisation of the viewer.


Colony Collapse Disorder comprises a series of neon sculptures with wiggly drawings that represent the choreographic movements bees enact while communicating the locations of their food supplies. However, in this series of irradiating light drawings, the diagrams are erratic and loose, representing shaky wavelengths and biased maps, suggesting that the species’ social architecture might be falling apart. As a fact, Colony Collapse Disorder is the name of a syndrome that communities of bees are suffering worldwide, and one that is leading to the threat of their extinction vis a vis their disorientation.


Margarida Mendes