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Adam Basanta
Marco Giugliarelli

Lieu d’exposition
/ Exhibition place

Place Ville Marie Rez-de-chaussée / Ground Floor, œuvre / artwork n°4
installation | sculpture


Born in Tel-Aviv (Israël) in 1985 and raised in Vancouver (BC), Adam Basanta has lived and worked in Montreal since 2010. Originally studying contemporary music composition, he has developed a broad, experimental, autodidactic artistic practice in mixed-media installations, sculpture and print media. Across various media and techniques, he investigates technology as a meeting point of concurrent, overlapping systems; a nexus of cultural, computational, biological, and economic forces. Since 2015, his works have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, WRO Biennale (Poland), Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), Cité international des Arts (France), Arsenal Art Contemporain (Canada), Galerie Charlot (France), iMAL (Belgium), National Art Centre Tokyo (Japan), V Moscow Biennale for Young Art (Russia), Serralves Museum (Portugal), Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst (Germany), York Art Gallery (UK) and The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe (USA). His work has been awarded in Canada (Prix Pierre Ayot in 2019, Sobey Art Award Longlist in 2018 and 2020) and internationally (Japan Media Arts Prize in 2016 and Aesthetica Art Prize in 2017).

Approach and works on display

My work investigates technology – a continuous spectrum spanning from mud-brick to machine learning – as a meeting point of concurrent, overlapping systems; a nexus of cultural, computational, biological, and economic forces. In uncovering, augmenting, and creating systems of entanglement, I position the viewer as an outside observer: a witness to the improbable processes of various actants pulling independently in collective balance. Through a variety of media – installation, kinetic sculpture, sound, and computational image-

making – I employ commercial readymades as a core vocabulary, displacing them into an artistic context. Placing processes and artifacts in unconventional and absurd relationships to one another, I aim to create a fissure in their normative functions, reflecting on their roles as contemporary prosthetics with which we co-exist in a hybrid ecology. My research and creation processes involve a balance of qualitative and quantitative approaches. I am particularly interested in the interplay between the two seemingly polar opposite, binary viewpoints, and strive towards a cross-pollination in which one feeds and complicates the other, and vice versa. I view art-making as a form of continual search and discovery, a way of engaging and becoming in the world. This guiding principle – of continual change, risk-taking, and acquiring of new skills – underpins the diversity of practice, methodologies, and output media which result from it. Each work is an imperfect record of a particular moment, and the overarching thematic meanings are found in the discontinuities between various works and approaches.

Grand Arch (Solid Waste) (2022-2023)

Electronic waste, cardboard, paper waste, post-consumer aluminum cans (approximately 2000 hand-washed), metal, post-consumer PET plastic, found construction waste, bricks, cement, metal and utility wire. An arch-bridge, distributing tension loads as compression forces, is an ancient architectural design, known for its structural balance without mortar or glue. As a structural design, it remains unparalleled in its ability to hold architectural loads, with many arch bridges still in use two thousand years after they were originally built. Grand Arch (Solid Waste) recreates this design using compacted post-consumer waste sourced from specialized recycling facilities and the artists’ studio’s surroundings. The found materials undergo manual cleaning, preparation, disassembly, compression, and baling. Material compression, whether geological or human-driven, enhances density and value, whether practical or symbolic. The formed architectures are equally plausible as a distant future built on a monumental past or ancient ruins that uncannily extend themselves into an unknown future.

“Progressus ad originem, regressus ad futurum… every beloved object is the center of a Garden of Paradise” (Boromil Harabal, Too Loud A Solitude).


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