Tag Archives: Art

Corpus Adflictum

3 Nov

The last couple of months have been a nice drive towards the solo exhibition of the much talented artist Aaron Bezzina. It has been an honour to be involved into this process. Challenge and being challenged led to an amazing result for all involved. It has also be a joy to do this curatorship with Stefan. We are still a strong team ;-).  More to come …

But enough about that. Let’s focus on the ‘now’ . This exhibition is for sure a must see, and it is not just because I say it ;-). The title Corpus Adflictum refers to the fact that humans quite often self-inflict oneselves to conform with society. It also refers to what drives humans to do that/or not in a playful way.

Thank you to Gudrun Rombaut to brainstorm with us about the title and to make sure we had the correct text on Aaron Bezzina’s gravestone for the 1st of November.

Here is the text that we wrote for the exhibition:

CORPUS ADFLICTUM

CORPUS [Latin, noun, body, matter, substance, corps, flesh, physique, form] ADFLICTUM [Latin, adjective, afflict, crush, damage, ruin]

Machines and mechanical objects play an important role in Aaron Bezzina’s oeuvre. If something like machine art exists then this exhibition is most certainly an example of strangeness (and familiarity), distance (and proximity) and rejection (and love or intimacy)[1]

Bezzina uses the imaginary in a very down-to-earth way. He uses simple interfaces that are recognizable and that can boost ones ego. His work refers to the language of machines, rather than being machines. It refers to the 19th century aesthetics of industrial apparatuses and focuses on their mechanics in a playful and intriguing way.

Whereas his larger scale work keeps the roughness and rawness of the materials used, his small objects are polished and finalized in great detail. They become precious objects. Objects of desire. Objects one wants to touch, to own and to understand how they work even if it comes with a challenge.

This solo show immerges the visitor into an act of voluntary harm and bodily sacrifice. In today’s society it seems to be socially acceptable to display and advertise the perfect body and its modifications at the cost of self-affliction. We have become responsible for the design of our own body [2]. One can say that the body has become plastic, a lifestyle accessory, a thing to be sculpted, shaped and ‘stylized’[3]. Adding something to the body or transforming is part of the action guided by the self.

Thus the body becomes an object, an apparatus, a machine and the movement of the body becomes a mechanical motion. The action taken is an instinctive one. It is something one wants and feels the need to do. The action is totally driven by the desire to control oneself even if it contains a risk. It would be a risk that one is willing to take.

It is that desire that interests Bezzina. He questions through is work what drives people’s desire. He wonders what people would do if there were no rules and regulations. Would they go for the action or not. This exhibition offers the choice to engage with the apparatuses or not. It is at your own risk and/or pleasure to involve yourself with the mental picture of the machine.

[1] Broeckmann, A (2016) Machine Art in the Twentieth Century, The MIT Press, p.30

[2] Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Stanford University Press, p.102.

[3] Hancock et al (2000) The body, culture and society: An Introduction, Open University Press, p. 8.

 

The show is on at Valletta Contemporary till the 4th of December. For those who are in the neigbourhood go and see it! All credits are to Aaron. He did a great job 😉

Exchange in Time and The Island Indoors on Kultura News

5 Sep

Kultura News made a short item on last weeks exchange in Valletta and in introduction to the exhibition that will take place in Ekeren in November.

If you are around, come and join us. The exhibition opens 9 November and runs till 30 November. We have a discussion and meet & greet planned on the 10th. So plenty of time to meet the artists then.

25 years later

14 Jan

No New Year’s Resolution. Just a short reflection.

Recently I came across the poster promoting Antwerp 93. The tagline for the year questioned whether art can safe the world. Well it might not be able to safe the world, but it does make the world a better place. Over the past years I learned that one can make small differences through art and culture, so yes we can never have enough of it.

Honestly, it was not a coincidence bumping into that poster. Next week Valletta 2018 European Cultural Capital will kick off and exactly 25 years ago I had the pleasure to be part of Antwerp 1993 European Capital of Culture. Back then I just graduated and was one of the guides leading guests and visitors through the city and through all exhibitions related to the cultural capital year. It was an amazing year for a fresh graduate, as I had the opportunity to discover Antwerp’s cultural institutions on all levels. It was also the start of an art-full career. Since then I can be only grateful for what happened on my professional path.

When I left Belgium in 2015 I could not have imagined that I would again be working on an international inspiring level connecting with artist worldwide, since apart from other things, I’m again involved in a European Cultural Capital adventure. I’m honoured to be able to develop together with fantastic colleagues an artist in residence programme for Valletta 2018 that wanders towards expected and unexpected paths, connecting all art forms, science, education and health. The journey started two years ago and I hope it will leave something sustainable after the 2018.

Ready to roll and continue the story.

I wish you all an inspiring 2018 !!!

 

open call Artist Residency at the Oncology Centre in San Gwann

19 Aug

Open Call SAMOC

Very pleased to announce that as part of the 3 year residency programme Deep Shelter Project taking place at the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre (SAMOC), the Valletta 2018 Foundation now launched a call for an immersive Artist-in-Residence experience.

The residency will take place at the centre between January 2018 and February 2018 and will run for 6 weeks.

It will be a unique experience giving you the opportunity to work with passionate professionals.

The successful artist will create a site-specific work for the Oncology Centre and will work closely with project coordinator and artist in residence Pamela Baldacchino, as well as Dr Benna Chase, Principal Psychologist at SAMOc

The call is open until 14 September 2017.

More information on the residency and the way to apply can be found here

Malta Land of Sea

27 Feb

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At present the exhibition Malta Land of Sea is taking place at BOZAR in Brussel. This event is part of the Cultural calendar of Malta’s Presidency to the EU. Malta Land of Sea showcases the rich cultural diversity and cultural heritage of the Islands in the middle of the Mediterranean, and illustrates the complex dialogue between land and sea. If you are in Brussels go and see it. The visit might possibly trigger you to visit Malta because of its rich culture and its specific place in the Mediterranean sea.

I was honoured to write with Paul Dujardin a more cultural policy orientated article about Malta for the catalogue. We moved to Malta about 17 months ago and realised that a lot was going on here.  In ‘A Fresh Maltese Breeze‘ I tried to pin down the current cultural dynamics one recognises when visiting the the Maltese Islands today.

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