Maltese artists have been struggling to find adequate venues for performances and hangouts for years now, but this trio of artist collective might have just found out the best possible venue out there. And it turns out hundreds of them have been staring at us all this time.
This is Parking Space Events
PSE is made up of writer Great Muscat Azzopardi, installation and performance artist Letta Shtohryn, and graphic and exhibition designer Johannes Buch.
“The idea is to explore different ways to use a single parking space as anything from a performance space to a hangout area,” Greta explains. “It’s an exploration of public space using relational art which looks into human relations and their social context.”
But in a country like Malta, the whole thing could also be one of the coolest, tongue-in-cheek jab at the way Maltese people park. Especially considering that most of these spaces were only made available thanks to the unique (read: mostly wrong) way certain people around Malta decide to leave their cars. “It wasn’t something intended or thought of,” Greta smiled, but it’s definitely an added hilarious point.
Parking Space Events organise their events around Valletta, and they kicked off the series with what they described as “a (probably) centuries old Maltese habit of family picnics in a parking lot.” All they asked of people was to bring the food they’d like to eat, good old folding furniture, and their “favourite people”.
“We often have problems finding an available parking space in Valletta with Presidency events, Parliament sittings and everything going on,” Greta said. “We always use white parking spaces and notice how we feel when occupying public space. Do we feel welcome? Are we intruding? Do we belong there?”
Even though they’ve only just started, PSE have already started attracting both attendees and curios bystanders, with random pedestrians, locals and tourists walking around Valletta joining in on their impromptu coffee morning hybrids.
“We’ve been exploring eating rituals in the public space,” the trio said, “more specifically in the restrictive and somewhat uncomfortable confines of a parking space.”
Their next event is a traditional Coffee Morning event, with an of course untraditional venue. The specific parking space will be sent to attendees at a later stage via message, and PSE said they would be “noticing and logging how we feel, how those around us interact with us (or fail to), and trying to maintain a very strict no politics zone to offer respite to election-frazzled brains.”
And who knows; maybe with summer approaching, they’ll once again choose a parking space with a view (something we never thought we’d write) for that added touch of awesomeness.