Setting Malta, Maleth, at the centre of its theme the project focuses on the role of the island as cultural centre of the Mediterranean Sea, both in history and in current times. The project seeks to present an exhibit which invites the audience to reflect on their own lifetime journey of self-discovery, their own search for a personal Haven/Port.
Drawing on the tri-fold of history/archaeology, myth/tradition and vision/expectation, the exhibit aims to create within the space of the Malta Pavilion a topos/ locus of artistic conversation for the whole of the Mediterranean Sea. Absolutely in-tune with this year’s theme of the Venice Art Biennale as described by its artistic director, Ralph Rugoff the project “will aim to welcome its public to an expansive experience of the deep involvement.. engaging visitors in a series of encounters.. ”, leading to self- discovery.
Creating a space within space, Evoking Heterotopias invites the audience to participate in an intuitive dialogue with the artworks which are organically placed within the built shell of the Venetian Arsenal. As vessels/ islands within a sea, artworks come together, in creating a unique experience for the visitor, who is asked to traverse the exhibition space in a voyage of self discovery that takes place in a suggestive fictitious space of controlled light and sound.
CAVE OF DARKNESS – PORT OF NO RETURN
A site-specific installation by Trevor Borg
CAVE OF DARKNESS - PORT OF NO RETURN by Trevor Borg proposes a re-imagined multilayered narrative of ancient creatures and long lost civilizations, exploring entrapment concealed within a haven. Loosely drawing from animal remains and artifacts excavated in a cave in Malta the work seeks to make (up) histories, to fabricate facts and to blur the boundaries between actuality and imagination, real and semblance.
In a site-specific installation meticulously researched by the artist, ambivalent remains of unfamiliar creatures and peculiar artifacts retrieved from now lost ancient Mediterranean cultures re-emerge to expose new layers of meaning. The artist invites the visitor to a mystical journey of surprise and self inquiry navigating through the pre-historic layers of Malta in the footsteps of its earliest inhabitants and their final end. The work concerns displacement narrated through non-taxonomic collecting approaches and constructed actualities.
A multi-screen projection by Vince Briffa
OUTLAND focuses on the indecisiveness of man as he longs to re-trace his way to the ultimate Haven, caught between the safety of an island and the peril of returning to his homeland.
Inspired by the Odyssey, it traces the symbolic duality of the lover, as saviour/oppressor, exploring the uncertainty and lure of safety, and the longing for freedom.
Through its multiple narratives and sound, the installation explores man's complex relationship with his various realities, and the anxieties of such uncertainties.
A multi-media installation by Klitsa Antoniou
Atlantropa, was a gigantic engineering and colonisation idea devised by the German architect Herman Sörgel in the 1920s. His project proposed to partially drain the Mediterranean forming a European supercontinent.
Today, more than ever, the Atlantropa scheme (of forming land bridges in the Mediterranean) seems relevant as it is suddenly fortified by contemporary intensity to remind us of the limits on freedom (migrants and refugees) and the destiny of the inhabitants of this area (surviving amid military, political, economic, social complexities/contrasts, migrations and fluid topographies of rejected, forgotten, unseen and silent memories).
This project in the context of the Malta Pavilion will aim to conceptually and artistically join the two islands of the Mediterranean, Malta and Cyprus, by offering glimpses on the utopian drives and the dystopian fallouts that characterize the Mediterranean area.