On May 4 at Quartz Studio in Torino inaugurated Siesta Club, the second solo show in Italy by French artist Adrien Missika.
For this exhibition – which will be open until July 11 – the artist drew on his recent experience in Mexico and created a “relaxation room”, a reference to the “siesta” cliché usually associated with many Central and South American cultures.
In the following diary, Adrien Missika tells us how this project started.
Last winter I decided to move to Mexico City for 6 months. I had been attracted by Mexico since a long time, but after a project I did the year before it appeared clear that it was time to make a move. I found a very bright flat with a huge terrace where 1 hammock was hanging already. Where I set my studio were as well hammocks in the backyard. So I started using them naturally. A few months later I had a bike accident and broke my toe. It wasn’t too bad but I couldn’t walk so well for 6 weeks. I was somehow forced to rest and couldn’t be as mobile and productive as usual. I then started spending much more time in hammocks and reflecting on productivity/lazyness, lazyness/creativity. I started realizing how much I loved to hang and how letting be could be healthy for my nerves and also my art. Passivity and forced unproductivity flipped into well being and inspiration.
I made a research on hammocks, from origins to modern use. I figured there is a big DIY hammock community within the travelers and backpackers or campers. They developed cheap handy lightweight techniques of making hammocks. I learned them all on forums and youtube. Then I started making my own hammocks using and combining technical lightweight fabrics and DIY whipping techniques.
I started setting several hammocks in my studio and home terrace and eventually had some interesting situations coming out, like spontaneous collective siestas or endless friends chats. All of which I deeply enjoyed and pursued my reflection on the intrinsic individualist definition of rest/sleep as opposed to the possible setting of rest as a community thing (Mayas used to sleep in sort of hammock dorms).
While playing and making hammocks on a daily basis I also started thinking of them as trans-medium artworks in between design, sculpture, painting and performance.
When I recovered from my toe fracture I started traveling around. Everywhere I went I had at least 1 hammock in my bag. I hanged them everywhere I could and did a siesta every time I felt like it. I documented it with the hammock POV, somehow making feet selfies with a view.
For the exhibition planned at Quartz Studio I gathered all the hammocks made in Mexico and hanged them almost randomly within the very high space, creating a set for collective siesta time. A relaxing soundtrack was also produced to facilitate the drift into limbs.