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Malta : Exhibition, I Fought the X and the X Won

from 15th July till 15th August, 2011
Wednesday 13 July 2011 by wbr

A total of 22 artists from Malta, Romania, Greece, Italy, France, Poland, Austria, Albania, Slovakia, Canada, America and Japan will be exhibiting at Heritage Malta’s National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta. The exhibition, I Fought the X and the X Won is a twinning project between the National Museum of Fine Arts, Malta and the National Museum of Fine Arts, Cluj, Romania and has had positive reviews from magazines such as Flash Art Magazine the World’s leading art magazine.

The title is derived from a rock n’ roll song ‘I fought the law’. I Fought the X and The X Won explores the inevitable aspects of life asking questions rather than providing answers. The artists explore a wide range of themes from struggles with time and technology to effects of the media and other globalizing and political forces, advertising campaigns and stereotypes.

The artistes present to Exhibition “I fought the X and the X won” :

Dimitrios Antonitsis, Vince Briffa, Gabriel Brojboiu, Austin Camilleri, Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Radu Comsa, Baptiste Debombourg, Sharon Engelstein, Petra Feriancova, Ry Fyan, Helidon Gjergji, Gabriele Grones, Ewa Kuras, Eva Mitala, Michal Moravcik , Tarohei Nakagawa, Adrian Scicluna, Artan Shabani, Katharina Swoboda, Dimitris Tataris, Raphael Vella, Siebren Versteeg

The work included in the exhibition I Fought the X and the X Won rewrites assumed frames of reference, asking questions rather than providing answers. Some of it, like Helidon Gjergji’s, Petra Feriancova’s, Siebren Versteeg’s and Adrian Scicluna’s pieces, plays with contemporary information and communication technologies and their predicaments: translation, distance, coding, and dislocation.

Katharina Swoboda’s and Vince Briffa’s videos struggle against time: they simulate, respectively, a three-minute boxing round and a race, but their time is fractured or fading away, like that of a boxer who gets knocked to the canvas, or a retired athlete, too old to be effective on the track of life.

Gabriele Grones’s painting haunts us as it also maps out meticulously the traces of time on a face, while Tarohei Nakagawa’s black and white photographs and Austin Camilleri’s small sculptures are the antithesis of the portrait: they hide rather than reveal identities and make us wonder whether the hidden face belongs to a representative of power or a victim.

Understandably, the effects of the media and other globalising and political forces, advertising campaigns and stereotypes also play a central role in the works of a number of artists in the show, particularly Ewa Kuras, Gabriel Brojboiu, Michal Moravcik and Dimitris Antonitsis.

Embattled political histories, art-historical references, cinematic and internet-based references merge in the images of Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Radu Comsa and Raphael Vella, while Ry Fyan, Artan Shabani, Dimitris Tataris, Sharon Engelstein and Eva Mitala direct their attention to personal and collective memories and occasionally uncanny situations and anxieties.

In many of these works, there is no tone of accusation that opposes “wrong” viewpoints. Arguments, ideas and people are not decisively split into winners and losers. Rather, their ambivalence, their irony and their discordance make many of these works so thought-provoking. The object is not to present an image that authorises specific interpretations, ideological underpinnings or political closure, but to destabilise certainties. This tactic is not a reflection of artistic or political indecisiveness but an understanding of antagonism in which the objective is to provide partial, non-authoritarian answers that weave themselves into other partial answers. There is no totality, no definite winner and loser, no fully self-conscious identity, no possibility of democracy or art without multiple, conflicting positions. Instead, art speaks of gaps and breaks and paradoxically finds its own potential therein. This emptiness is its lifeblood.

CATALOGUE: I fought the X and the X won.pdf/

This exhibition is a project supported by Malta Council for Culture & the Arts, Bank of Valletta, ARTACT media partners : FlashArt SK/CZ, ArtActMagazine, Radio Cluj, Skylife, Modernism, TVR Cluj, Radio Romania Cultural.


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