JANUARY 2018 – TRANSFORMER
During January 2018 Blitz will be hosting two resident artists – Laila Hida (Le 18, Marrakech, Morocco); Mohamed Fariji (L’Atelier de l’Observatoire, Casablanca, Morocco) – as part Transformer, a long term project being developed in collaboration with University of the Arts London Central Saint Martins. Transformer focuses on the dynamic generated by AROs and their engagement with contingencies of the present, engendering artistic discourse via artists-based research activities in-situ.
Transformer Informal #2, panel discussion – 18 January 2018
FEBRUARY 2018 – PUBLIC TALK BY FLORA KATZ (FR)
During 2018 Blitz will be hosting an ART+FEMMINISM edit-a-thon. Art + Feminism is an international project aimed at improving content on women and the arts on Wikipedia, and encouraging women’s participation in the encyclopaedia.The project’s main event is an editing workshop – Edit-a-thon – that takes place over a number of days and brings people together to learn how to edit Wikipedia to create new articles and improve existing content on women and the arts. In the leadup to this event, Blitz will be inviting Flora Katz to to present a public talk and raise awareness about Art + Feminism. Flora Katz is the organiser of three Edit-a-thons in Paris. Flora’s visit is supported by the French Embassy in Malta.
Public talk with Flora Katz – 9 February 2018
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 – ANNA RIDLER (UK)
Anna Ridler 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.
Public talk, followed by drinks – 23 February 2018
Residency dates: 26 February – 25 March 2018
MARCH 2018 – ART+FEMINISM
2018 will mark the fifth year of the Art + Feminism project. Blitz, with the support of the French Embassy in Malta, will host an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in March 2018 as part of a global event, coinciding with International Women’s Day. The Edit-a-thon, led by an organising committee of experts and enthusiasts from across the cultural and education sectors, will include tutorials and guidance on content for the beginner Wikipedian, ongoing editing support, reference materials, and talks. People of all gender identities and expressions are invited to participate, particularly transgender and cisgender women.
Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon – 9 – 10 March 2018
MAY/JUNE 2018 – Zahra Al-Mahdi & Hanan Al-Alawi (Kuwait)
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.
Residency dates: 28 May – 23 June 2018 (exhibition and public programme to be announced)
JULY 2018 – LATITUDE36 (MT)
Latitude 36 is a socially engaged audio-visual arts project focusing on the Maltese diasporic community. Latitude 36 engages Maltese individuals and community groups located around the world, collecting stories and unearthing both personal and collective narratives. With the help of the Maltese diaspora, the migratory experience is placed at the core, mapping and examining migratory patterns and narratives through the visual arts. From a post-war, post-colonial perspective through to EU membership, it explores Maltese migration and captures the immigration experience of this minority group. This project has been travelling around the world since 2016, including various 2nd and 3rd generation Maltese communities in the UK and USA, and will continue gathering material through its various contacts with Embassies and High Commissions.
Exhibition dates: 29 June – 13 July 2018
SEPTEMBER 2018 – BORBALA SOOS (UK)
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.
Residency dates: 3 – 30 September 2018 (exhibition and public programme to be announced)
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 – TRANSFORMER
Transformer is a multifaceted, two-year project presented by Blitz, in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and culminating in a multi-site exhibition. The project will build a relationship between a Maltese artistic context and an international cultural network through a series of border-crossing curatorial and artistic exchanges. The project includes curatorial research, artist residencies, a website, public talks, workshops and a multi-site exhibition in spaces across Malta during the 2018 European Capital of Culture year. The activities will be a collaboration between project partners from Malta, the United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco, and Greece, with the aim of building a network which will help develop Artist Run Organisations (AROs) and the contemporary art context in Malta. Transformer focuses on the dynamic generated by AROs and their engagement with contingencies of the present, engendering artistic discourse via artists-based research activities in-situ. Transformer institutes a ground-up, grassroots, sustainable and long-lasting interchange; nurturing, developing and extending the activity of the Maltese contemporary art scene, widening its sphere of influence, and embedding it within European and international communities of practice.
Transformer is supported by the Multi-Annual Support Grant, Arts Council Malta, The British Council and is part of the European Capital of Culture Programme.
Multi-site exhibition: 1 September – 14 October 2018 (Locations to be announced)
OCTOBER 2018 – Otto Krause & Milan Loviška (AT)
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.
Residency dates: 8 October – 4 November 2018 (exhibition and public programme to be announced)
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 – WIĊĊNA, Zvezdan Reljic
Wiċċna / Our Face by Zvezdan Relic is an at once intimate and collective compendium of lith printed photographic portraits, a quiet celebration of the immeasurable variety of faces that inhabit or pass through the humble geography of the Maltese Islands. The exhibition will be hosted at Blitz and the accompanying book will feature aesthetic, anthropological and literary essays on aspects of physiognomy, identity and photography, each written in a different language that has influenced Malta throughout its history: Arabic (Walid Nabhan), English (Alexandra Pace), French (Philippe Parizot), Italian (Virginia Monteforte), Maltese (Leanne Ellul), and Spanish (Antoine Cassar).
Exhibition dates: 15 November – 13 December 2018