Bozar - Malta, Land of Sea

10 rooms in the Black&White Galleries
Timber, steel, mirror and perspex
for the exhibition MALTA-LAND OF SEA curated by Sandro Debono With AP Valletta on invitation by on invitation by Bozar, Paleis voor schone kunsten Brussel

The exhibition presents Malta as an age-old crossroad and interprets the cultural landscape as a space of land and sea, and brought together close to seventy extraordinary objects, from prehistoric times to installations by contemporary artists. The existing corridor-like spaces of the upper galleries were turned into a passageway of curiosities, and architectural elements were designed to support the curator’s re-engineered chronology, to dislocate and reconnect heritage objects with newly commissioned sound and text installations

Pentagon shaped exhibition tables and adjacent mirrors provoke changing viewpoints and relations between objects, allowing the shifting compositions to stand for new stories and connections to the present day. The steel table legs echo the lines found in the old portolan charts and navigational maps that are presented on the tables. Individual consideration was given to the exhibited necklaces by means of floating frames that invite visitors to ‘wear’ these unique objects and indulge in the illusions and reflections of the mirroring panels. Small protruding and rotating platforms offer a completely new perspective on the mysterious seated prehistoric figurines and their ritual connection. Colored walls and subdued lights enhance the spatial perception and express both the physical dislocations and visual connections between chapters, rooms and exhibits. ‘Malta. Land of Sea’ enables the visitors to experience in first person that there are no fixed boundaries on this island.

Picture credits: Philippe De Gobert, Martina Cutajar and Tom Van Malderen
Drawing credits: AP Valletta