Adi da samraj’s
The Ascent of Orpheus opens
at the Bargello Museum, 9 July

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Bargello National Museum hosts a solo contemporary art show, THE ASCENT OF ORPHEUS: Between and Beyond Representation and Abstraction, by the American-born artist Adi Da Samraj. In an unusual bridging of ancient myth and digitally composed large-scale fabrications, the exhibition is Adi Da’s sweeping and at times demanding retelling of the famous Orpheus and Eurydice myth. The exhibit runs from 9 July to 11 October 2015 in two galleries off the Bargello courtyard.

Through the nine large-scale pieces and the multimedia projection in the exhibition, Adi Da demonstrates his radical approach to “aperspectival, aniconic, and anegoic” art. Drawn from his Orpheus One and Linead One suites created in 2007, the digitally composed works, some never shown publicly before, demonstrate the artist’s reach beyond the linear perspective and individual “point of view” that have dominated Western art since the Renaissance. The exhibition is also a testament to Adi Da’s advance in what he considered to be the unfinished modernist project of the early 20th-century avant-garde.

At the core of all of these stories of Orpheus is a descent from the world of light into the natural domain, and a subsequent ascent, or escape, from that domain. The red-and-black space in some of the images of Orpheus One is the realm of difficulty and suffering in which human beings live. However, the evidence in the images of Orpheus One, like the evidence in the myth of Orpheus, suggests another possibility than merely remaining in the realm of suffering — namely, ascent beyond, through the intrinsic transcending of the red-and-yellow field into the white field, or the realm that is free of the darkness made by ego-life.
— Adi Da Samraj