In the Italian and international survey of the last twenty years, Adrian Tranquilli is the only artist who has continually and exclusively used the themes of the superhero-strip cartoon both as a primary material of his research and as an emanation of his unmistakable expressive language. Hence the oxymoron of the title of the exhibition, borrowed from a famous saga devoted to the mutant heroes, published by “Marvel Comics” on the pages of “X-Men” in 1981 and transposed cinematographically in recent years by Brian Singer (X-Men – Days of future past, 2014).
In his versatile works, which enclose different media, from painting to sculpture, from drawing to video, Tranquilli investigates the figure of hero, a transcultural anthropological model that passes through different times and symbologies very far from one another – from Thor to Golem, from Heracles to Christ. The superheroes, that have peopled collective imagery since more than sixty years, are taken by Tranquilli as paradigmatic models of any possible epic poems, as well as a symbol of dualism salvation/sacrifice which is the basis of Christological history and biblical mythology, the foundations of western culture. The manifestations of the crisis and decline of this cultural model find their exact iconographic reflection in the figures that people his works.
Exhausted or defeated, super-heroic or anti-heroic, they become the unpleasant metaphor of the relation between individual/community, between the individual and religious, ideological, political or economic structures that destroy him.
“Giorni di un futuro passato” is the most articulate and complete exhibition, which has been dedicated to Adrian Tranquilli until now. It is conceived as a new path through the most significant themes of the artist’s research in the last twenty years. On exhibition will be a large number of works by Tranquilli which belong to the most meaningful series of his, such as “Futuro Imperfetto”(1998), “Age of Chance” (2005), “All is Violent, All is Bright” (2009), “In Excelsis” (2011-2013) and “The End of the Beginning” (2016), that is exhibited on this occasion for the first time. All these works have a strong visual impact, the evocative force of which is in a close connection with the architecture of the museum and with the classical statuary of Farnese Collection, which is considered to be heroic par excellence.
The exhibition, designed specifically for the spaces of The National Archeological Museum, occupies the ground floor, the courtyards, the Farnese Galleries and the first floor of the museum.
Housed in this context, the “futuristic findings” by Tranquilli narrate an absolutely different and ironically futuristic history of civilization: they trigger a series of unsettling counterpoints with the masterpieces housed by the prestigious Neapolitan Museum, giving a deliberately destabilizing overview which short-circuits classicism and futurology, archeology and science fiction.
The exhibition “Giorni di un futuro passato” is housed in the National Archeological Museum as a part of the project which the Educational Service of the museum has carried out since more than twenty years in order to promote the meeting between the heritage of antiquities guarded in the museum and contemporary languages. The exhibition is supported by Donnaregina Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
The exhibition will be open until June 6th, 2016, from Wednesday to Monday (it is closed on Tuesday), from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Adrian Tranquilli was born in Melbourne in 1966. He lives and works in Rome. Among his main personal exhibitions: “Welcome to the Fall”, MART – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Rovereto, 2014; “All is violent, all is bright”, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome 2003; “Don’t Forget the Jocker”, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2010; “These Imaginary Boys”, Parkhouse, Dusseldorf, 2004; “Know Yourself”, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome, 2003; “Believe”, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 2001. Adrian Tranquilli has participated in important collective exhibitions at several public institutes and private foundations, among which: La Maison Rouge, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris 2009; Sala de Exposiciones Alcalá 31, Madrid 2008; PAN – Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples 2007; Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm 2007; Kunsthalle, Vienna 2006; GNAM – National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome 2005; Palazzo delle Papesse – Centre Of Contemporary Art, Siena 2003; Castel dell’Ovo, Naples 2002; IASPIS, Stockholm 2002; Dalì Museum, St. Petersburg (Florida) 2001; PAC – Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Milan 2000; Bienal de La Habana, (Cuba) 2000; MAK, Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst/Gegenwartskunst Vienna 1999.