Clockwise from top left: Anna Ridler, Zahra Al-Mahdi & Hanan Al-Alawi, Otto Krause & Milan Loviška, Borbála Soós
Announcing the incoming artists for the 2018 Blitz Residency Programme.
This year’s international open call for applications attracted a record 200 applications. Our star selection panel has made its decision and we are thrilled to announce the four successful applicants.
Anna is a London-based artist and researcher whose practice brings together technology, literature and drawing to create both art and critical writing. Anna is interested in working with abstract collections of information or data to create new and unusual narratives in a variety of mediums, and seeing how new technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and machine learning, can be used to translate them clearly to an audience. Her intention is to make work that is not about technology for its own sake, but rather uses these technologies as a tool to talk about other things – memory, love, decay – or to augment or change the story in a way in that would otherwise not happen. In Malta, Anna will create an ‘imagined archive’, using the National Archives of Malta as a starting point, and imagining the data or stories that have not been collected.
Zahra Al-Mahdi & Hanan Al-Alawi
Zahra Al-Mahdi is a visual artist, writer, graphic novelist, and filmmaker. Her debut graphic novel is titled We, The Borrowed. Hanan Al-Alawi is an installation artist working mainly with glass, photography and found objects. In Malta, Zahra and Hanan will explore the role of memory in rethinking the national historical narrative of citizenry, gender roles and sexuality in Kuwait. As memory stems from an individual consciousness and a collective agency, it is a juncture between the private and the public; the personal and the political. Focus will be on the counter-memories of mobile identities such as transsexual and transgender citizens, by forming points of connection with Maltese multicultural constructs. Their findings will take the form of video installation, a mobility map and models built from animation, sketches, found material, photographs, mixed media images, and other materials.
Borbála is a curator, born in Budapest, Hungary, and now based in London. Borbála’s recent research focuses on the development of structures found in plants and fungi, as well as certain sea creatures, and explores these as metaphors for social organisation. She asks: How does the sea think? Do plants communicate? What are animals dreaming about? We are inseparable from our companion species, and dependent on them for our survival. It is an illusion that we can detach ourselves, and keep only within the borders of our bodies, or retreat within the walls of our cities. As social beings as well as economic and ecological factors, we are inseparable from the world around us, and as such, our fate is bound to other living creatures. Borbála’s residency will be an extension of this research, and the accumulation of knowledge will be collaborative, including field trips inviting local artists, curators, writers, and thinkers to participate and talk about their relationship with the island and the sea and its non-human inhabitants. These experiences will unfold in a series of events.
Otto Krause & Milan Loviška
Otto Krause and Milan Loviška use diverse, performative formats and technologies to question established modes of perception and explore the relationship between audience and performer. Their atmospheric works bridge various fields in the arts, science and popular culture. Otto is a stage and costume designer for opera, theatre, dance, performance and film. Milan studied contemporary dance, and psychology, and alongside his own work regularly collaborates with artists in the visual arts, music, theatre, dance and performance. During their residency Otto and Milan will investigate the furrification and plushification of performative spaces, actions, roles, objects, and events. Similar to fursuiting – the anthropomorphic fetish of dressing in full-bodied plush fur animal costumes by members of a subculture called the furry fandom – the artists dress up performative artefacts in faux fur and plushy textures. This hybrid plushophilia can be seen as a portal through which to escape the physical, spiritual, psychological or sexual constraints imposed by the human body and by human consciousness. The outcome will be a performance installation that dramaturgically appropriates the relation of cuteness to care, through various media, and invites audience engagement and sensorial interaction with these soft forms.
The Blitz Residency Programme is supported by Valletta 2018 Foundation.