Blitz is currently hosting Latitude 36, a fascinating, thought provoking and highly original review of Maltese identity – both individual and collective.
Artist Charlie Cauchi – herself part Maltese, part English – invited three artists to Malta to perform as part of the exhibition. The project aims “to bring these stories to light and to have a different debate about migration, while also reflecting on what Maltese identity is and what it means”.
Latitude 36 is Charlie’s perspective on the cultural criss-crossing of Tunisia, Australia, England and Malta and the impact of migration on identity. The exhibition is situated in a classic Maltese townhouse, allowing the timelessness of Malta’s history and people to blend effortlessly whilst enabling each installation to have its own cultural identity and place in time.
Using film, photography, soundscapes, built structure and neon art, the mixture of visual practices are augmented with sensory opportunities: the warm smell of incense and the soft feel of fabrics in the Tunisia room are evocative and familiar. The sharp - and unusual in Malta - smell of freshly sawn lumber in the Australia exhibit is in contrast to the clinical gleam of the machetes on the opposing walls, engraved with their owners’ names. This is designed to provoke your curiosity, question your assumptions and make you think, not just look.
Each room tells its story. Go and see how it accords with yours.
Foxy and Husk, an experimental performance art duo made up of two human-animal hybrid characters who have a great following on YouTube. They worked with the Maltese diaspora in the UK and British diaspora in Malta to create a tragi-comic set of monologues detailing the experience of being a stranger in your own land as well as an émigré, an immigrant and a human.
Ħanina details the impact of Malta on a Tunisian town. The once migrant workforce has gone but Bortex’s Ezzhara factory is a key employer of skilled Tunisian labour; you are invited into their work world for a world-renowned Maltese company.
Stoop, Chop, Straighten, Top Early Maltese immigration to Australia saw the agricultural labourers cutting sugar cane (a product with a dark history) and learning to build with timber not stone. Their personalised, engraved machetes show their status as well as their history.
Ta’ Barra is the observation and photographic record of how house names and shop names reflect the locations of Maltese emigration and nostalgic return to the islands.
London and specifically Soho: organised crime and prostitution are unflinchingly faced and reviewed to the sound of Bobby Darin crooning ‘Mack the Knife’. Chillingly detailed down to the stocking on the bedpost.
Latitude 36 – 29th June -14th July 2018. Valletta
Copyright: Temple Concierge Ltd
Content Supplied by: TEMPLE Team
Images Copyright: Blitz Gallery