Good Walls make good Neighbours

Wall Installation for Collective exhibition
Valletta International Visual Arts Festival 2015, curated by Raphael Vella
4.2m x 2.4m x 0.24m
Timber, mirror, paint, lights, projection
including text-work by Bettina Hutschek

Good Walls Make Good Neighbours, curated by Raphael Vella, focused on the ambivalence, heterogeneity and multiplicity of meanings and functions of walls. Intrusion, division, separation, privation, control, protection, intimacy, privacy, border and –in a broader sense– the construction of home, neighborhood, city, country, nation and so on, are all notions related to the physical as well as imaginative concept of wall. The cycle of construction, demolition and reconstruction, appears through different perspectives in Yael Bartana's video Summer Camp; in Sonia Guggisberg's video installation Last Dream; in the clean and geometric photographs of David Pisani, part of his series The Walls of Perception; as well as in Duygu Nazli Akova's beautiful video-mosaic The Hive. The works presented by Tom van Malderen, Claudia Larcher and Teresa Sciberras, investigate and experiment design and architecture, while the artworks of Zineb Sedira and Sarah van Sonsbeeck mainly focus on human relationships and on the micro and macro walls that separate lives and histories.

Based on the principle of a contemporary dry-wall structure, the wall installation delves into the idea of what might be on ‘the other side’. It plays with the elements typical to dry-wall structures: hidden cavities, functional supports and mass-produced stylized ornaments.

As a structure, a wall isolates a place and articulates relationships between the inner and the outer. It organizes the world of men between heaven and earth. A wall divides power, hides secrets, separates bodies, provides security and expresses identity.

The accompanying projected text piece suggests stories hidden within and beyond the wall, and sets a dialogue in motion between the inner and outer, structure and ornament, ideal and appearance.
“Behind the wall, an alarm goes off.
Behind the wall, a coffee is brewed.
Behind the wall, the smell of chicken and garlic is lingering on.
Behind the wall, the one-eyed kid is playing by himself.

photo credits: Luis Rodríguez and Tom Van Malderen