The Paradox of Labour – a Reader on the Work of Adrian Melis


'The Paradox of Labour' is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Adrian Melis's practice. It provides insight into the themes explored in his work while also delving into the socio-political "readymades" in socialist Cuba and neoliberal Europe that have shaped it. The reader is divided laying the groundwork for an in-depth understanding of his methodology and areas of interest henceforth. It assembles text contributions, archival images, interviews and the artist's notes to collectively dissect labour's propensity to (re)produce subjectivities and ideologies.

This publication contextualises Adrian Melis's practice and simultaneously offers a broader understanding of the psychopolitical realities shaped by socialist and capitalist labour markets, systemis inefficiency. By looking at Melis's body of work spanning the last fifteen years, the reader traces the Cuban workers' rise and fall and reveals unlikely similarities to the white-collar worker of the West. How can such opposing ideologies produce such similar states of alienation? Can socio-economic activity be detached from ideological work?

Produced by
Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland
Adn Galeria, Barcelona, Spain

with the support of
PUBLICS, Helsinki
and Mareike Spendel

Design and layout
Adrian Melis

Image Management
Fadri Cadonau

Rose Marie Barrientos
Alessandra Troncone
Anni Venäläinen

Editing and proofreading
Denise Araouzou

Barcelona, Spain

ISSN 0359-4327
ISBN 978-952-5648-83-6

Porin taidemuseon julkaisuja 164, 2021
Pori Art Museum publications 164, 2021



Adrian Melis Sosa (1985, b. Havana, Cuba)
is a multidisciplinary artist, based in Cuba and Europe. Between 2005 and 2010, Melis studied printmaking at the University of Arts in Havana. During this period, his artistic practice was shaped by the intensive program 'Catedra of Behavioural Art' directed by internationally-acclaimed artist Tania Bruguera. He has exhibited in several museums and institutions including, among others at Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Pori Art Museum (Pori, Finland), Queens Museum (NY, USA), the 10th Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, China) etc. Since 2010 he is represented by ADN Galeria (Barcelona, Spain).

20 varastossa

Tuotetunnus (SKU): 511037 Osasto:


Paino 0,45 kg