UNTITLED feels at home in presenting an exhibition of a new body of work by David Adamo, his second at the gallery. For this exhibition Adamo has taken something enormous made by something small and translated it into something small made by a person—the termite mound.
Termite mounds readily concede their ‘sculptured’ organic appearance and elaborate technical sophistication. The mounds of the magnetic termite (Amitermes meridionalis), for example, are wedge-shaped, with their long axis oriented almost perfectly north–south; scientists suspect that the novel design provides a thermoregulatory apparatus. (The narrow end of the nest takes up minimal peak-intensity heat, allowing the termites to maneuver aboveground by day while lesser insects are forced to take respite underground.) A column of hot air rising in the mound ventilates the subterranean tunnels, providing essential temperature control for the cultivation of underground fungal gardens, and for maintaining a comfortable nest for the brood to live below ground.
In 2007, NASA engineers used the termite mound as an analogous architectural model home capable of sustaining human life on Mars in the event of the encroaching future post apocalyptic fallout. Through this replication of the termite mound Adamo investigates the morphic qualities of organic material digested and reconstructed through its most essential elements. Engrained within this gesture the artist also isolates the implicit qualities of a fundamental element of the dwelling/habitat/home for everything from the most basic of life forms to our most idealized futuristic selves.
Artist: David Adamo
Venue: UNTITLED, New York
Date: September 8 – October 20, 2013
Images courtesy of UNTITLED, New York.