Blitz Valletta and local renowned Maltese artists. Alexandra Pace and Pierre Portelli have been exclusively invited to Paris Internationale.
Paris Internationale is home to 35 galleries ranging from 21 different countries and Malta is included in this list. The exhibition will be held at 186 avenue Victor Hugo in the heart of Paris and will take place between 20th to 24th October 2021.
What is Paris Internationale?
Paris Internationale is a non-profit organisation that was established back in 2015, as a way to support the young generation of galleries by offering a groundbreaking alternative to traditional art fairs.
In the past five editions, Paris Internationale has been keeping its prices at a fairly low cost.
This is to encourage risk-taking and to present its audience with a selection of artworks at the forefront of contemporary practices.
While also going in line with Paris Interionale’s latest innovative and proposal to promote the work of new emerging artists and to rediscover more established figures.
Paris Internationale is a response to the current political climate, it was built with the principles of solidarity and inclusivity in mind.
What will Blitz Valletta’s exhibition include?
Blitz Valletta’s exhibition will be taking up one of the empty kitchens of the building, where the theme will be incorporating the domestic and historical nature of kitchens and bathrooms, being the fact that when occupants leave, these tend to be the only rooms that aren’t emptied.
While including vivid memories of the pandemic lockdown restrictions. It will be tackling the comforting separation between indoor and outdoor and unravels human interactions with nature and furniture in this highly coded space.
The exhibition commences with psychedelic visions by the artist Alexandra Pace in dreams (2014- ongoing), it focuses on a sequence of different hand-printed black and white photographs featuring landscapes, objects and bodies.
Referring to much more than just recording a dream, such artworks indicate the ephemeral state of dreams to envision visual narratives aimed at tackling traditional iconographies, inhibitions and loss.
Alexandra’s artwork will also be including Corridor world (2019), claustrophobic editing of Kubrick’s The Shining.
The artist analyzes and breaks down the original film and script by using pieces from the corridor scene and creates a scenario in which the characters appear confined, looped in a state of mutual pursuit without resolution.
While Pierre Portelli’s strategic camouflage, instead targets the curtain of a window with the site-specific installation The Blue Garden (2021), transforming an invisible and almost neutral threshold between the building and its exterior into a prospect to debate psychological boundaries with nature.
The title signifies the exuberance of the appropriated traditional Chintz pattern lovingly imprinted with blue roses, a flower that does not exist in nature.
As a result of recent genetic hybridization, the blue rose has come to symbolize the unattainable or the impossible in popular culture.
However, in Portelli’s curtain, a significant number of flies, similarly rendered in blue, have hacked the idyllic picture. The exhibition continues with Portelli’s Homecoming (2011), a tattoo design replicated with cutlery on painted wood.
Common throughout the centuries among sailors in the Mediterranean, the swallow and heart tattoos represent a safe return home to loved ones.
By replacing the ink with the cutlery and the skin with the quotidian wood of tables, Portelli translates human feelings into a tangible mix of everyday and artistic materials.
Who are the artists?
Alexandra Pace from St Julian’s is the founder of Blitz, Malta’s longest successful, running independent contemporary art space and is an internet-conscious artist.
Through both photography and videography, Alexandra’s work explores cultural modern relations to technology, culture and social memory.
She holds a graduate degree from Central Saint Martin’s University of the Arts London and has lectured at the Department of Digital Arts at the University of Malta where she has taught photography, as well as multidisciplinary studio practice.
Pierre Portelli from Valletta is an innovator of conceptual and installation art in Malta. Whatever the size, Pierre’s work is equally striking, ironic and site-specific.
He is a founding member of START, a modern Maltese art group. He had the opportunity to study at the Swindon School of Art and Design in England.
What is Blitz?
Founded by Alexandra Pace in 2013, Blitz is a non-profit organisation, that was launched as a popular, artist-run contemporary art space.
Blitz, apart from being a reference for contemporary art, is home to a four-story gallery found in a classic Valletta townhouse that originally belonged to Alexandra’s grandparents’ family home.
After 30 years, the building saw a shift and came back to life via a committed and orderly restoration effort. Since its origin, Blitz has held an in-house artist residency, a project space and exhibition galleries.
Since its beginning, Blitz has shaped a uniqueness and a presence which has been recognised aboard, to the international art world, through prominent collaborations with institutions such as Royal College of Arts (London), Central Saint Martin’s University of the Arts (London), the European Graduate School (EGS) and the annual Network of European Museum Organizations conference (NEMO).
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