Position of Opposition (Hands Down), 2015, by Aaron Bezzina Young artist Aaron Bezzina presents a piece constituted of polar opposites – an interplay between natural and forced, public and private, hostile and hospitable. The work is constituted of symmetrical polar opposites, one pair of hands on each side of a long table. Each hand is clasped in a fist and one pair faces the other in a possible air of conflict, tension and preparedness to strike. Alternatively, the stance could […]
Social Kitchen by Matthew Schembri Mixed media and installation are the means by which Matthew Schembri explores and develops his ideas into artistic creations. Social Kitchen is a case in point, where screenshots from various social networks were selected, printed and wrapped around cooking-related utensils and furniture. Thus, the viewers are presented with an essential household room, all covered with a medium that they, as contemporary individuals, have initially created – a creation whose existence is impossible without people’s online […]
Early Morning in the Company of a Cat, by Javier Joseph Formosa Digital Black-and-White photograph, 30x40cm Embracing Exterior Spaces, by Chiara Monterosso Digital Black-and-White photograph, 30x40cm Javier Joseph Formosa and Chiara Monterosso explore the relationship between different space and emotions and sexuality. Javier focuses on the interior space associated with the ideas of safety, security and protection, where items of furniture such as the bed, books, and the washroom, the bathroom and the kitchen, communicate a connection with personal objects and intimacy. On the other […]
Genesis 2014 Gozitan blue Clay, 268x180x190 cm Sound – Ġgantija II composed by Dr Mariella Cassar Cordina The site of Ġgantija is synonymous with ritualised life, death and regeneration. The rawness of unfired Gozitan blue clay illustrates further the relationship between the ambience of the prehistoric temple and our physical association with the earth. The organic nature of the form is a metaphor for the temple and transmits its aura through its gigantic proportions. The sphere, with its rugged and […]
In the Upper Galleries at St James Cavalier, the Madrid-based artists’ group Democracia presents a recent work called ‘Ser y Durar’, or ‘To be and to Last’. The work consists of three large video projections, photographs, stencils and sweaters worn by practitioners of “parkour”, a very physical form of movement through an environment that resembles military obstacle course training. Democracia is composed of artists Pablo España and Iván López, who typically work on very politically or socially engaged artists projects […]
Power Exchange The fundamental issue that emerges during The Enlightenment period between the art of governance and individual freedom, lead naturally to the right of participants to criticise and consequently to influence the interplay of power between the state and free entities. This in turn allowed for the choosing of which political party is preferred to submit for election. The Enlightenment thus sought to replace its mode of governance from that of being by a singular entity, a head of […]
Bronze and Gozo hard stone plinth
Dimensions: 180 x 80 x 235 cm (horse); 190 x 75 x 170 cm (plinth)
[We are living under domination of ‘the sign’ – visual images, as Jean Baudrillard famously announced, have lost all connections with the referent and become more real than the real. Signs and images are edited, photoshopped. ‘Truth’ gets lost in the fluid murky boundaries of aspirations, perfection and the power to choose. We consume the manipulated image but the off-cuts are key. The real is lying/dying on the editor’s floor.]
Monumental figures are visual images of historical power. Horses with choreographed and codified stances indicate degrees of suffering, sacrifice or victory of their heroic riders.
Żieme – magnificent sentinel at the breach of our city’s walls.
The stance is choreographed … or is it inevitable?
Space, and what’s not in place – that’s the key.
The horse is the monument – the iconic sign that imprints on our retina as we rush past with eyes on what’s ahead and minds on what’s not.
Burnished bronze: power and permanence.
But power is not always what it seems, or what it is made to seem. Monuments are manicured versions of truth-as-selected. The power they portray owes as much to manipulation/omission as to what is presented.
Żieme is a monument to what is no longer there. Ormaybe of what never really was. Or what might occur.
It commands us to look closer. The obvious is never clear – till it is – and we then try as we might to unburden ourselves of it.
The space on Żieme’s back is the place where power would sit.
The location talks volumes. Power displaced. Power unseated stands off against the seat of power. Piano and politics – harmonies of discord.
How long can our four legged beauty stand on three?
Power/collapse – truth or subversion? In resonance with Sacredaustin (1998), Kelma bejn tnejn (2008) and Homo immortalis (2011), power motives are called into question; truth and her bedfellow deception exposed; and emphasis is on what is hidden, missing, manipulated. Just as the gaping red holes in the Pittura pittura palimpsets invited exploration of the texture and detail beneath, Żieme offers a conceptual twist rooted in unexpected absence.
Żieme and what’s not there.
Żiemel zopp? (lame non-starter?) Or heroic stalwart and monument to (un)truth? The referent has gone – set free. The sign is what it is. The off-cuts are key.
Dr Gillian Martin
Photos by Elisa von Brockdorff
The show consists of two groups. They present different aspects of the intertwinement of emotions and capitalist ideologies. One group presents what the result is, the other, the causes. Emotional Capitalism consists of three parts, detailing how the lures and allures of capitalism appeal to people to desire more than they can afford. A double projection, side by side, shows to phases of such a desire. This work is called All That Glitters. All That Glitters On one screen you […]
Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, is used to identify a dominant male in a group or pack situation. When the word alpha is applied to men it likewise refers to a status of dominance solely amongst men: women are nowhere to be found in this equation. Within a zoological context, the term Alpha implies a wild, primitive masculine norm in which virility is implied by strength and that strength in turn implies a threat of physical […]
Katharina Swoboda is a young artist from Graz, Austria who works mainly in video. Her work for VIVA focuses on the relationship between architecture, animals and spectators in different zoological gardens. She has worked on this project for over a year, collecting information from zoos around Europe and India. In her exhibition, visitors will be able to enter a space specially constructed for her projections and photographs.