+33 6 99 73 81 80
Memento Mori
But the Clouds
Ein See ist immer ganz in der Naehe
Biennale Photo de Mulhouse

Melita / 2024

Armoury, Birgu

Thematic section ‘ Can you sea? The Mediterranean as a political body.’
The will be taking place in Malta, Europe, between  March 13th and  May 31st 2024

From left to right, from bottom to the top : Rock, Favignana, Sicily, 2023 Ibrahima, Orto Botanico, Palermo, 2023 Cemetery of the unknown, Zarzis Capo Gallo, Sicily, 2023 Punic necropolis, Kerkouane, 2023 Confiscated boat, Zarzis port, Tunisia, 2023 Maltese Caves, 2021 Marabout, Djerba, 2023 Ras il-Wardija, Punic-Roman sanctuary, San Lawrenz, Gozo, 2022 Youssef, Kerkouane, site of an ancient Punic city near Cape Bon
From left to right, from top to bottom : Xemxija apiary from Punic times, Malta, 2023 Olive tree, Djerba, 2023 Doiret, Tunisia, 2023 Maltese Cave, 2021
From left to right, from top to bottom : Ibrahima, Orto Botanico, Palermo, 2023 Phoenician House Foundation Wall, Selinunte, Sicily, 2023 Ibrahima, Ballarò, Palermo, 2023 Kerkouane, site of an ancient Punic city near Cape Bon, Tunisia, 2023 Selinunte, Sicily, 2023 Cape Bon, Tunisia, 2023 Quarry, dating from Phoenicians, Favignana, Sicily, 2023
From left to right, from top to bottom : Punic necropolis, Kerkouane, Tunisia, 2023 Mozia,near the phoenician port, Sicily 2023 Tanit, Kerkouane, Tunisia, 2023 Tomb, Mozia, Sicily 2023 Ficus tree, Carthage, Tunisia, 2023 Naby, Zarzis, Tunisia, 2023
From left to right : Ras il-Wardija, Punic-Roman sanctuary, San Lawrenz, Gozo, 2022 Nigel, Ras il-Wardija, Punic-Roman sanctuary, San Lawrenz, Gozo, 2022 Maltese Cave, 2022 Maltese Cave, 2022
From left to right : Cap Bon, Tunisia, 2023 Adam, MutuelleVille, 2023
Can You Sea? The Mediterranean as a political body Main Pavilion, Armoury, Birgu …and they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. St. Luke, The Evangelist Hydrography in Malta goes as far back as 60AD – it features in the New Testament, when the Apostle Luke gives an account of how the vessel on which he and St. Paul were travelling, was caught in a tempest that would end in shipwreck on the rocky Maltese shores. The Phoenicians bestowed the name of Melite, meaning refuge, to these islands, and there is reason to believe that the attraction to settling in Malta at that time was the accessible, yet naturally defensible topography, as well as its vegetation – Fertile est Melite, wrote Ovid in the third book of his Fasti. On a calm day, a ship can sail into the many natural harbours with ease, and, if we are to believe Ovid, centuries ago would have found fecundity and vegetation. First inhabited in around 5900 BC, then repopulated in 3850 BC by a civilisation which at its peak built the Megalithic Temples, dated to be amongst the oldest surviving structures in the world, and once again reinhabited during the Bronze Age, we cannot but wonder where these people had sailed from, where their ships had been built, and whether they were able to settle here without conflict. Across the Mediterranean sea, which was not always viewed as a homogenous whole, political divides and territorial lines were often more fluid out at sea. In 1524, the Knights sent a commission to inspect Malta who discovered what Braudel defines as ‘an isolated world’, a backwater on the periphery of emerging Europe. It was the natural harbours that secured a new reality for Malta, that then became aligned along major trading routes and transformed into a ‘frontier territory’. Malta has been in turn a refuge, a hideaway, a port, a silo, a defender and ‘brave fortress’ – our geopolitical significance is indelibly linked to our maritime identity. It is the sea that has shaped the land, and defined Malta’s trajectory. It is the sea that has brought inhabitants to these shores, to struggle and to thrive throughout the ages, and it is the sea that has taken us away as migrants to Tunisia, Algeria and Alexandria, to Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States. Unwittingly, we have been importing and exporting language, customs and beliefs. Diasporic dwelling, when viewed as a lenticular process involving oscillation between a multiplicity of realities as defined by Australian anthropologist Ghassan Hage, allows for that plurality to form ‘one’ identity, not confined to one place, but spread across continents. Malta lays claim to territorial waters of 12 nautical miles – the waves that flow towards us, just as soon bounce back until they reach another shore, and in this way the people of this region have always been connected, travelling across the sea that is irremediably wild and refractory to domestication, alien to containment and control. As we steer from land to sea, from air to water, we propose for the participatory artists and voices of the biennale to explore ways to occupy this ‘space’ without claiming it, steering away from the confinements of territorial discourse toward a dialectic that is free and unbound, just at the sea has always been. Curatorial Team Sofia Baldi Righi (Artistic Director and Head Curator) Elisa Carollo (Curator) Emma Mattei (Arts and Culture Journalist) Nigel Baldacchino (Exhibition Designer) Scientific Collaboration: – Underwater Department, Heritage Malta – MCAST - The Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology – MADE Fine Arts Academy, Syracuse, Italy – Northeastern University, Boston, USA Location: Armoury, Birgu Dock-1, Cospicua Underground Valletta