When all territories are made accessible by images, from google maps to endless amateur tumblr blogs, from tourist guides to nature TV programs, traveling is accessing a new status. In 1984, Paul Virilio was already depicting what he described as a ‘transparent world', as humanity was reaching a state where the visible was becoming equal with visibility, every part of this planet being recorded in worldwide data, providing a metaphysic situation that would allow men to get an endless access to everywhere when every territory has been mapped and rendered visible. How to encounter the ‘elsewhere' in these circumstances, and is the concept of ‘elsewhere' still relevant today?
The work by Adrien MISSIKA 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.
Ruins, moving stones, a lonely palm tree, an abandoned race track, a flea, or the wander of a lost soul in Niemeyer's dome, a form of the absurd genre seem to be at stack in the work of the artist. The images are cold, distant, and build a scenario thanks to what has been found on site, away from any kind of advertising strategy and efficiency. The artist's work present liminal subjects that sit between two times, in an almost anachronic state.
Adrien MISSIKA's work doesn't verify, validate, or witness. It reincarnates the elsewhere with subjectivity and singularity, playing with the traditional techniques of recording. In the studio his work would be about reinterpretation and attempting to catch forms and logics of this elsewhere. Far away from transparency, Adrien MISSIKA skews visions, degrades passive contemplation, and naturally deforms perception.