October 27, 2018 - Malta Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Maleth/Haven/Port—Heterotopias of Evocation
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October 27, 2018

Malta Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Maleth/Haven/Port—Heterotopias of Evocation. Courtesy Malta Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Maleth/Haven/Port—Heterotopias of Evocation
May 11–November 24, 2019

Malta Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Artiglierie, Arsenale
Venice
Italy

www.artscouncilmalta.org
Facebook

Maleth/Haven/Port—Heterotopias of Evocation
May 11–November 24, 2019

Malta Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Artiglierie, Arsenale
Venice
Italy

www.artscouncilmalta.org
Facebook

Maleth/Haven/Port - Heterotopias of Evocation is the title of the selected curatorial project that will represent Malta at the 58th Venice Biennale.

“...‘heterotopias’ as such, how can they be described? ...a sort of simultaneously mythic and real contestation of the space in which we live, capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible,” Michel Foucault, Des Espaces Autres.

The Phoenician word “Maleth” evokes the primeval origins of the island’s existence and literally translates to Haven/ Port, a quality Malta inspired in all who traversed the waters of the Mediterranean Sea through the ages and that still withstands today.

Curated by a historian, Dr Hesperia Iliadou, it is inspired by the Odyssey, a Mediterranean myth and one of humanity’s oldest stories, verging between reality and fiction, it provides a contemporary re-interpretation of our timeless need of seeking a haven, most strongly experienced in times of crisis.

Bringing together artists from the Mediterranean, the core of the artworks proposed includes specially commissioned pieces engaging the audience to complementary semantic enquiries into the contemporary conditions of “homeness/(un) homeness” spreading beyond the predisposed mental notions of assigned tactile borders.

Open to diverse readings and drawing from the tri-fold of histories, mythologies and expectations, the exhibition aims to create within the space a topos of artistic conversation for the whole of the Mediterranean Sea and beyond, inviting the audience to reflect on their own lifetime journey. Attuned with this year’s theme of the Venice Biennale 2019, as described by Ralph Rugoff, the Pavilion “will aim to welcome its public to an expansive experience of deep involvement... engaging visitors in a series of encounters.”

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. Drawing from animal remains and artifacts excavated in a cave in Malta the work seeks to make (up) histories and to fabricate realities and semblances. 

OUTLAND, by Vince Briffa, 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 sea-crossing. Drawing from the story of Calypso, it traces the symbolic duality of the lover, as saviour/oppressor, exploring the uncertainty and lure of safety, and the longing for freedom.

ATLANTROPA-X, by Klitsa Antoniou, explores a 1920s project by German architect H. Sörgel that proposed the partial draining of the Mediterranean to form a supercontinent. The artworks will hover between past and contemporary conditions, of surviving displacement and discontinuity amid conflict, migrations within the current context of fluid topographies and challenged expectations.

Like vessels within a sea, the artworks come together, inviting the audience to participate in an intuitively playful dialogue, traversing the exhibition in a curiosity-driven voyage of self-reflection that takes place in a suggestive constructed fictitious space created within the Arsenale.

The Malta Pavilion is commissioned by Arts Council Malta, under the auspices of Malta's Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government.

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