The Malta Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale is a complex installation that 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.
AP Valletta developed purposely modular exhibition structures, 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 pre-fabricated triangular shaped foldable 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 nineteen 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 both 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.
Bettina Hutschek, Raphael Vella
Tom Van Malderen, assisted by Martina Cutajar (AP Valletta)
Daniele Zoico: 2, 6-7, 13-14; Bettina Hutschek: 3-7, 9; Tom Van Malderen: 8