August 30th - November 1st, 2015 • Museo Diocesiano di Santa Maria dei Servi (PG)
ADAM McEWAN AT MUSEO CIVICO DIOCESIANO DI SANTA MARIA DEI SERVI
Adam McEwen forms icons out of the everyday hardware of popular culture, foregrounding the melancholy and fictional promises that form the value of our institutions. After initially writing obituaries for The Daily Telegraph in London, he began producing obituaries of living subjects such as Jeff Koons and Bill Clinton, blurring the line between history and fiction and opening up a language that is
disarming and yet full of dark, dead-pan humour.
Recently, McEwen’s practice has involved producing representations of objects in unexpected, common materials such as graphite and sponge. His graphite sculptures are renderings of banal objects, replicated to the smallest detail and in the exact scale of the original. The industrial graphite machining process used to produce these works - which is also used to manufacture missile parts - allows for a precision that brings to mind the ready-made. Water coolers, roll gates or ATM’s, the objects are overly familiar and often emblematic of our consumer culture. While the act of repurposing these cultural signifiers creates a momentary sense of rupture, they raise
questions as to how we manage fundamental needs.
The inherently utilitarian products are silenced and suddenly appear as monuments of a consumer society marked by death.