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Memento Mori
But the Clouds
Ein See ist immer ganz in der Naehe
Biennale Photo de Mulhouse

MELITA / Exhibition

ENG : Anne Immelé’s project ‘Melita, refuge’ (2022-2023) started in Malta during her visits to different caves around the Islands, when she came across traces of Phoenician civilisations in the wider contemporary context of an active migratory crisis. Since ancient times, human beings have sought refuge as a critical component for survival. The notion of refuge is especially anchored culturally in the history of Malta, whose Catholicity is also rooted in the biblical tale of Saint Paul’s shipwreck and his finding shelter in a cave on the island.

From the Maltese Islands, Immelé travelled to Sicily & Tunisia to contemplate contemporary migratory routes across the Mediterranean Sea, engaging in a poetic association with the voyages of the Phoenicians in antiquity. The Phoenicians, merchant conquerors who established bases in various Mediterranean civilisations, established a documented network of routes throughout this body of water between 1200 - 300 BC.

The installation presents an array of polyphonic stories interfacing disparate voices and routes in the Mediterranean space and time. This juxtaposition of ancient routes of commercial conquest with contemporary migratory ones brings forth poignant shared narratives, enabling also fresh perspectives of the present.

Her photos are rooted in the geo-political complexity of the contemporary migrant condition but distinguish themselves from a work of reportage by inviting a broader temporal and geographical perspective. As a body of work in its totality, ‘Melita, refuge’ then effectively proposes its own personal, political and poetic trajectory.

FR : Pour le projet 'Melita, Refuge' Anne Immelé envisage le destin de la Méditerranée en croisant les routes de conquête commerciale des Phéniciens avec celles des migrants d'aujourd'hui. Une exploration qui croise et alterne les traces du passé et les vicissitudes du présent, ouvrant des espaces de réflexion sur les notions de refuge et d’hospitalité. Enracinées dans la complexité géopolitique de la condition migratoire contemporaine, les photographies s'éloignent du reportage pour proposer une trajectoire poétique, faisant se connecter les géographies de trois pays : les grottes et vestiges des refuges phéniciens à Malte, les carrières de Favignana en Sicile, les plages de Tunisie où sont parfois enterrés les rêves des réfugiés.
Supported by Centre national des arts plastiques (National Centre for Visual Arts), France 2024, Stimultania France, Embassy of France Malta, EgliseArt Palermo, French Institut Palermo, French Institut Tunis, Jaou Tunis. Production Silver gelatin Prints by Anne Immelé Mounting and framing by Sophie and Laurent Weigel, Le Réverbère, Motoco Showcases designed by Tom Van Malderen //// Thanks to In Malta: Nigel Baldacchino, Sofia Baldi Pighi, Daniel Azzopardi, Tom Van Malderen, Noura Abdelhafidh, Rachel Baldacchino, Katie Sims, Hadia Bashir, Habtom Tsigehans (Spark 15), Noah Fabri, Aidan Celeste, Marine Debliquis, Laura Besançon. French Ambassy in Malta : Mme l'ambassadrice Agnès Von Muhll, Renaud Lallement. In Palermo: Eric Biagi, Judith Teslault, Iolanda Carollo In Tunis: Fanny Rolland, Sofiane Feki, Youssef from Dar Meso In France: Pascal Beausse, Céline Duval