Swell Map, 2015

Adrien Missikas new work for The Spring Press makes reference to early ocean navigation and the stick charts of the Polynesian. Once used to navigate the Pacific Ocean by canoe, the charts mapped the directions of prevailing ocean swells as they approached islands. Memorized prior to embarking on a voyage, navigators would lay in their vessels to better sense how their canoes were being pitched by the waves of far away islands.

The work has been screen printed in Mexico using traditional methods that employ Cochineal; a tiny scale insect native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico. Once dry, a crimson-coloured natural dye carmine is derived from the insect and combined with aluminium or calcium salts to create an ink. The ink was used in Central America throughout the 15th century becoming an important export good during the colonial period.

The work of Adrien MISSIKA, who portrays himself as a ‘professional tourist’, is to be found at the meeting point of travel experience and exotic representation, advertising iconography and subjective involvement. Through a wide range of media, from photography, video, to sculpture and installation, the artist records his finds encountered during travels to the USA, Hawaii, Turkmenistan, India, Egypt, Russia, Lebanon, Brazil, to name a few. The work by MISSIKA challenges, as much as it plays with, the vocabulary of advertising and visual systems developed by the travel industry. Advertising is nourished by fetishes and totems encouraging exotic perceptions and reducing this sought-after unknown to a certain number of timeless signs like palm trees, waves, sun, that form caricatural, partial, if not populist items.

Traveling, for Adrien MISSIKA, is rather a way to somehow resist to theses flat perspectives and representations. The artist inscribes his scenarios in the timeline of this elsewhere, inducing subjectivity and strangeness into these territories, temporarily perverting their state and our space representations. When the world has become ‘transparent’, a way to reappropriate it would be to inject new layers of perceptions, blur their immediate lecture and reinject forms and shapes. The use of video recording challenges the still perception of this elsewhere and highlights its moving and evasive nature.

SP23 ADRIEN MISSIKA, Swell Map, 2015

  • Grana cochinilla screen print on paper, 18″ x 24″ (45.72 x 60.96 cm)
  • Edition of 25 + 1 artist proof

Printed with archival stocks and inks. Prints are express shipped unframed with corresponding signed and numbered artist certificate. Please note that prices may be subject to change and may increase as an edition begins to sell out.

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