WORK(IN)SPACE 2021: "And the grid's heart fluttered" by Melissa Morris | SACI College of Art & Design Florence


Alumni & Exhibitions

WORK(IN)SPACE 2021: "And the grid's heart fluttered" by Melissa Morris

WORK(IN)SPACE: And the grid's heart fluttered, a project by SACI MFA in Studio Art candidate Melissa Morris, on view March 10-31 in SACI's Palazzo Maidoff.

SACI's Palazzo Maidoff  
On View: March 10-31, 2021
Gallery Hours: from 9:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri

WORK(IN)SPACE 2021: And the grid's heart fluttered

In the exhibition, And the grid's heart fluttered, Melissa Morris draws on ideas from critical post-humanism to upend and undo the grid. The grid is a visualization of modernity's faith in rational thought and industrial progress. We have thrown the Cartesian grid over the world (Donna Haraway), using it to measure and map every inch of the earth and chart every phenomenon we aim to control. In a series of paintings and drawings, mediums chosen because of their historical entanglement with the grid, Morris questions the assumption that “man is the measure of all things.” 

In a series of paintings entitled Un/Doing, the grid in a state of undoing is a metaphor for our current condition, as we experience the collapse of systems built on its logic. The show's title, And the grid's heart fluttered, comes from an article in the International Herald Tribune, describing a vast blackout in North America in 2003 due to the failure of the power grid, similar to the recent blackouts in Texas. In the paintings, rather than seeking to map a predetermined, human-centered perspective within its frame, Morris looks to models of self-organizing systems in nature for the use of line and considers color as a form of thinking. The interaction of color is such that the image won't settle, and the scale of the paintings invites an experience that is more than meets the eye.

The series of drawings, Lines of Thinking, explores the question, how do our thoughts come to matter? Drawn with white correction fluid on black paper, the drawings show a thinking process--how thoughts take form in the mind and then move out into the world. An ongoing work, they are visual responses to contemporary art discourses that evoke the undoing of established structures and propose new possibilities, drawing on knowledge that comes through art practices.


Melissa Morris is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who draws on ideas of critical post-humanism to comment on our systems of ordering and knowledge-construction. She received her BA from the University of Michigan, is an MFA candidate at SACI (Florence, Italy), and takes part in on-going international artists residencies with artists Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky, exploring the Spiritual in Art Practice. Her work has been shown internationally and is held in private collections.

Learn more about Melissa's work on her website.



WORK(IN)SPACE is a series of exhibition projects by SACI 2nd-Year MFA in Studio Art candidates, as part of the Professional Practicum Seminar. Students work directly in SACI's Maidoff Gallery to critically engage with the challenges offered by preparing an exhibition. Each week, a new opening presents a coherent body of work of the artists. Working one-on-one with SACI Instructors Daria Filardo and Pietro Gaglianò, students step outside of their studio environment to rethink their work in an exhibition setting, learning to consider all the aspects, limitations, and needs of the given space to achieve the best final result.

WORK(IN)SPACE is held in SACI’s Maidoff Gallery and includes all phases of the exhibition, from the planning to the installation and opening of the show. 

Gallery Hours: from 9:30-4:30 daily (Florence time)

this page