closing event - 2.3.03


The recently formed Maltese contemporary artists’ group, START, has organized a unique artistic event in a massive alternative space in the capital city, Valletta. The space is Pinto Stores in the harbour area, a place with historical associations with the Knights of St John, the British, and naturally, the shipping trade within the Grand Harbour. The exhibition will be open to the public until 2 March 2003, one week before the referendum about EU accession.



The name BORDERS refers to many layers of meaning. First of all, the site itself is next to the sea terminal, where thousands of tourists disembark every year. Secondly, the proximity of the event to the referendum means that some of the artists reacted to the current political situation in Malta, a situation that involves a decision about future “borders”. Lastly, all the artists of START are trying to break accepted artistic conventions in Malta and introduce new ways of interacting with a space. In this last sense, the artists are trangressing artistic “borders”. For instance, the site is currently in a process of change: it is being restored architecturally to be transformed into a commercial area for tourists. Hence, the artists of START had to install their works in a building that was (and still is) in a state of flux. This involved several difficulties, but was also perceived by all participating artists as a challenge.


To help publicize BORDERS, most of the artists in the exhibition were featured in the popular TV award for the Malta Song for Europe in the first week of February. BORDERS was co-curated by START and Richard Davies, practising artist and Principal in Fine Art (Post Graduate Studies) at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, U.K.. Davies came over to Malta to inaugurate the show on 6th February.


The artists participating in BORDERS are Norbert Francis Attard, Ruth Bianco, Vince Briffa (in picture, left), Austin Camilleri, Savio Deguara, Patrick Fenech, Charles Gatt, Anton Grech, Mark Mangion, Pierre Portelli and Raphael Vella (in picture, above).


BORDERS is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays between 10.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. until 2 March, 2003. A publication about the event will be launched at a later stage.


BORDERS closing event: On Sunday 2 March at 7.30 p.m., everyone is invited to the closing event of Borders. This will be a cross-disciplinary event, bringing together visual art, literature, theatre and music in short performances. Participating groups and individuals will include Inizjamed, Teatru Marta Kwitt (represented by Immanuel Mifsud), ItalianpercussionistSimone Mongelli (in picture, right) and Gruppi għall-Inkontri tal-Bniedem.


Raphael Vella


18 February, 2003


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