Malta’s culture and arts scene is slowly reopening as the country looks towards a brighter summer as Malta opens up for tourism and a slow return to a sense of normality.
Art Gallery Blitz Valletta is one of the many spaces looking to bring audiences back to experiencing rich art and culture after a long hiatus that came about during the pandemic. In this time of uncertainty, Blitz seeks to continue its steadfast support for Malta’s art scene.
For the occasion, Blitz will be hosting Gravity, an exhibition inspired by the force of attraction and its exorable effect on human bodies. Exploring the traditional genre in art history, the body and its representation have re-emerged as a crucial topic in the pandemic.
The exhibition features artworks by both Maltese and international artists, including Kane Cali, John Coplans, Jesse Darling, Simon Fujiwara, Eva Kotáková, Adrian Paci and Pierre Portelli.
For the first month, the exhibition also extends to OPEN, Blitz’s online platform, where Paci’s video work will be streamed freely. Victoria Gate in Valletta is also included in this where two new public art sculptures by Portelli and Cali will be accessible day and night.
Gravity seeks to demystify the narrative of progress that politics and media have driven into our societies. Its imagery connects to both identity and survival, freedom and oppression – challenging a disconnect with nature that affect our identity just as much as it does social confidence.
It is a dual concept, in physics, it is a force of attraction yet it is weak enough to not change the property of matter. It is a condition that we live in as human beings, regardless of our ethnicity, gender or culture.
Coplans’ poignant auto-portraits introduce viewers to the theme of defying classic iconography of male power and invulnerability, offering a new perspective on the ideas of masculinity.
Portelli’s installation meanwhile features several local rocks reflected in the space via mirrors, including one that includes a prosthetic Victorian eye.
Meanwhile, Fujiwara’s mixed-media installation and Cali’s sculpture both represent fatalities of technological acceleration and new media dissonance, showing the effects of society morphing into a more antagonistic force.
By contrast, Paci’s video and Kotáková’s installation depict the privilege and political disruption that intensify social distress and provoke psychological unease.
Finally, the drawings of Cali and Darling depict an investigation that extends into otherness and failure – ordinary taboos that are both physical and linguistic, and by an extent further explore the concept that Gravity entails with how it relates to our bodies and relationship with others.
In a time of polarized disorder and public health emergency, Gravity also acts as a call to face the urgency of this momentum, to condemn the hubris of humankind that has brought us to this point and peek behind the veil of false idols.
Gravity offers yet another exhibition by Blitz, whose grassroots, artist-run contemporary art space has been the home to supporting contemporary art in Malta – offering public programmes, workshops and even an in-house artist residency besides its galleries.
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