Exhibition architecture and scenography
With Architecture Project on invitation by Bettina Hutschek and Raphael Vella, for the Malta Pavilion ‘Homo Melitensis’
57th Venice Art Biennale, La Biennale di Venezia, Arsenale, Venice, Italy
The installation brings together the work of thirteen artists and a diverse selection of artifacts from national and private collections, in a non-hierarchical and a-chronological set up. A series of modular exhibition structures were developed, based on elemental structural principles and on a limited palette of materials. The exhibition design provides a homogeneous and neutral background to exhibit over 220 objects of different natures within the large historic Arsenale building with its striking bricks and trusses. Large parts of the exhibition structures were composed of prefabricated triangular shaped fold-able elements and addressed the demand for an economic production, compact shipping volumes and a short installation time. The flexibility and inter-changeability of the exhibition tables facilitated the crafting of carefully constructed physical and visual connections between the 19 chapters and their objects, setting up a framework of views in support of the overall spatial experience.
The exhibition set-up enables the audience to participate, ask questions and discover intricate details and the wider collection of objects at one go. Using both the floor and trusses of the imposing hall to display and piece everything together, immerses the audience, blurs the relationship between ‘looking at’ and ‘being part of’, and eliminates the separation between subject and object. The work unfolds whilst the audience changes position. Moving between the cluster arrangements, underneath banners and firework structures, behind the curtain of a box and in front of a billboard, visitors find themselves within the work whilst viewing it. For a moment, time and space, inside and out, beginning and end collapse to make the audience disappear in the non-hierarchical, a-chronological world of Homo Melitensis.
Picture credits: Bettina Hutschek and Tom Van Malderen
Drawing credits: Architecture Project and Martina Cutajar