Adam Leech’s work (b.1973, San Diego, CA) intrigues because of its layered style and the existential questions that lie behind it. These always concern the experience of the artwork itself. In his paintings, mirrors, windows and reflective surfaces allude to a space beyond the image plane that is related to our perception. In his video works, we are addressed in a tutorial-like way and made aware of the factors that determine our thoughts and feelings about his work.
With his research into the condition of the art viewer, Leech aims at a synthesis of the human and empirical sciences, linking visions from aesthetics, anthropology and (neuro)psychology. Meaning is contained in the various concepts about art and in the confrontation with the immeasurability of the subject and the frictions between the scientific findings. The tone of Leech’s work, for example, lies between seriousness and irony, and in terms of intention, between study and play.
Adam Leech brings his experimental approach into the museum’s coded environment via his residency He sets up an investigation into the viewer’s experience of the museum, which gives him access to its physical and theoretical spaces, its private and public activities, its visitors and staff. On a regular basis, he will test his findings against the (un)calibrated ways in which art and experience are defined from the museum’s perspective.
A new series of tutorials
Via a new video series, Adam Leech is devising a manual that visitors can use to make their experience in S.M.A.K. funnier, richer and more unconventional. The artist appropriates the aesthetics and vulgarising tone of YouTube tutorials and completely breaks open the popular medium by also sharing his doubts, emotions and existential questions about his practice. This pseudo-educational trip connects camp with open source and ensures that a museum visit will never be the same again! This is a co-production with S.M.A.K.
An initial introduction to Adam Leech, the S.M.A.K. Artist in Residence 2020-2021:
A deconstruction of what constitutes a museum experience through the eyes of the artist: