geography of proximity

malta contemporary art

curated by roberto daolio & alessandro castiglioni

opening october 14th, 2010

mca malta

mousse magazine 

Barbara Bühler, Canarezza & Coro
Nina Danino, Haris Epaminonda, Irena Lagator
Ingibjörg Magnadóttir, Mark Mangion
Umberto Cavenago and Giancarlo Norese
Pierre Portelli, Trixi Weis

Geography Of Proximity
is a travelling exhibition part of the Little Constellation project. It tells the story of a journey through the art—and the world inhabited by art and artists—of a constellation of small states in Europe, travelling to Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, and other significant geocultural micro-areas such as Canton Ticino, Ceuta, Gibraltar or Kaliningrad. The voyage of the two artist-researchers, Rita Canarezza and Pier Paolo Coro, intersects with an exhibition project curated by Roberto Daolio and Alessandro Castiglioni. With help from Mousse Publishing, they have been blended into a volume with an original graphic design that mingles pop images of sci-fi universes with the unique landscape and culture of the miniature universes explored in the study. This unusual investigation examines the potential for building a shared platform for artists, curators, and institutions in these areas, to carve out a place of their own within the international artistic debate. The book—half interstellar map, half catalog—collects the works on exhibit and the biographies of the 20 artists and groups involved, using texts, images, and interviews to illustrate the legs of a journey that spanned six years, from 2004 to 2010.

The Little Constellation catalogue published by Mousse will also be launched in Malta.

Opening Reception:
14th October 2010 at 7.30pm

Exhibition Dates:
14.10.2010 - 14.11.2010

Malta Contemporary Art Foundation
St. James Cavalier
Castille Square
VLT 1060
T +356 7993 8332

/Little Constellation/ - Geography of Proximity
Malta Contemporary Art Foundation presents this travelling project based on a complex system of relations breaking away from the traditional vision of a political and physical geography made of stereotypes. Through a series of performances, video installations, photo works and relational projects, the exhibition will instead focus on a geography based on the project, spatial relationships and a new meaning of identity and territory.

Barbara Bühler (FL)
Like most of her photographic projects Little Longing, is a series of images rereading public and social spaces such as a conference rooms, mosques and empty public pools creating strange dimensions presenting spaces void of spatial function and an absence of human activity.

Rita Canarezza & Pier Paolo Coro (RSM)
This duo from San Marino are founders and collaborators of the /Little Constellation/ Project. Geography of Proximity is in itself part of a larger 6-year project and research-based work by these artists. Through a moving study around the little states and regions of Europe, through a travel documentary based on interviews made with numerous figures involved in the cultural scenes of these countries, Canarezza & Coro attempt to map out and understand the realities and cultural contexts of contemporary art being produced in these places.

Giancarlo Norese & Umberto Cavenago (I)
These 2 Italian artists enter the /Little Constellation/ network through a series of workshops they held at the Academies in Bergamo and Urbino. Their will to construct a Sentimental Macrozone born from an online community of participants who by accessing certain virtual spaces will mark their geographical location. Their website will then document this new territory created by the community.

Haris Epaminonda (CY)
The video presented by Haris Epaminonda is linked to a series of works where the artist creates conflict and parallels through the use of contrasting imagery by superimposing a still image on a moving image framed inside it. Gramophone presents a dialogue between images from an Egyptian soap opera accompanied by the soundtrack from a 1929 Homer Quincy Smith song I want Jesus to talk with me. In this new improbable space a collision of ideas and contrasts come together to manifest this project.

Nina Danino (GBR – UK)
In the film by Nina Danino, past and present collide in a highly sensitive and poetic space based on memory and tradition creating a suspended image in its placement in time and memory.

Irena Lagator (MN)
Irena Lagator’s work focuses on her concerns with site-specific work based on the gallery architecture and nature in a socio-cultural way. The work presented by Lagator is made up of rolls of fiscal receipts turned into a dreamlike architectural environment.

Ingibjörg Magnadóttir (IS)
This Icelandic artist works mainly in performance using the body- the person- the performer in deeply profound, spare and introspective psychoanalytical and complex situations where the performer is suspended in an extreme emotional world of sadness, love, confusion. For her MCA performance she will deal with ideas of solitude, abandon and miscommunication relating to her own research but also as a greater metaphor for social realities in our world today.

Pierre Portelli (M)
Pierre Portelli is an artist who often works with ideas of travel and displacement creating projects where the direct interaction of the public in the design of the work are correlated. In this new work made for the MCA show, he start to tackle ideas of the new Renzo Piano project for City Gate.

Mark Mangion (M)
Sitting on a bus, feeling like an idiot, wondering where to go and what to do is a complex performance made for the opening of the MCA exhibition dedicated to ideas of right of passage and immigration changes that Malta has faced in the last years. A Coach is parked outside the gallery entrance with 20 African immigrants onboard. The coach and its passengers wait silently not knowing what to do and where to go. An anxiety is created through this performance based on the potentiality and proximity of reality as art and art as reality.

Trixi Weis (L)
Little Stories, the video presented by Trixi Weis, deals with the problematics between personal and social identity. This film, for 40 minutes focuses on the feet of people walking through Tokyo. These details become important personal and social signs if our diffused relational reality.