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UNDERNEATH THE ARCHES – Adrian Melis, Terra Asciutta
27 September 2020-11:30/15 November 2020-17:00
September 27th – November 15th 2020
OPENING SEPTEMBER 26th, 11:30 a.m.
Acquedotto Augusteo del Serino
Via Arena Sanità 5, Naples
Curated by Chiara Pirozzi and Alessandra Troncone
Underneath the Arches, the program for contemporary art that takes place at the archeological site holding the remains of the Acquedotto Augusteo del Serino in the area Borgo Vergini–Rione Sanità in Naples, announces its third exhibition. Under the artistic direction of Chiara Pirozzi and Alessandra Troncone, and in collaboration with Associazione Vergini Sanità, Underneath the Arches presents 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 under way, and during the exhibition, through an environmental installation conceived site-specifically by the artist.
Underneath the Arches aims to activate a dialogue between archeology and contemporary art, and to establish a relationship between the local material and immaterial culture and the artistic research of international artists. Its main objective is to promote both existing cultural heritage and new production in contemporary art. In the fascinating space of the ancient Roman aqueduct, discovered in 2011 and located underneath a historical building called Palazzo Peschici Maresca, international artists are invited to create temporary and site-specific installations in dialogue with the space itself and the surrounding area. This project is created with the contribution of Regione Campania, under the Matronage of Madre Museum /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 Napoli.