when in rome/malta

a polyphonic site-intervention in the world’s smallest capital city

malta contemporary art

14.06.2011 - 16.06.2011

opening june 14th, 2011

A Polyphonic Site-Intervention
in the World’s Smallest Capital City

Khaled Barakeh
Benedikte Bjerre
Elisa Caldana
Oscar Carlson
Ann Cathrin November Hųibo
Rasmus Johannsen
Vytautas Jurevicius
Patrick Keaveny
Lise Meixner
Aki Nagasaka
Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi
Filippa-Linn Pettersson
Jose Roberto Shawafaty de Siquera
John Skoog
Simon Starling
Franziska von Stenglin
Jol Thomson

Following a visit to Malta in January, an international group of young artists studying at the Städelschule Frankfurt with the British artist Simon Starling, have developed a collaborative project with the roving arts organisation Malta Contemporary Arts.

When In Rome has been developed in relation to the complexity of Malta’s history, 
to it’s life as a tourist destination, to it’s current role as a set for a diverse range of film productions and further still, as a staging post for political and military responses to conflict ridden countries in neighbouring North Africa. To be realised in Valletta, the world’s smallest capital city, When In Rome, will take the form of a 3-day-long series of simultaneously performed actions that will serve to map the cities streets in different ways. Each of these actions will be a re-enactment 
of a work made by another artist in a specific situation somewhere in the world over the last 40 years. When performed simultaneously, overlaid within the confines of Valletta’s city walls, these re-enactments will add to this already complex place to create a cacophonic site - a layered and complex space within which to consider a contemporary understanding of what might constitute the very notion of a place. Centred around the work of the Mexican-based, Belgian artist Francis Al˙s - whose 1:1 mapping of cities – often taking the form of low-key walks made with simple tools such as a block of ice, a leaking paint tin or a knotted flag - has come to represent an almost generic artistic response to urban space, When In Rome will furthermore include a carefully chosen selection of related actions by artists such as Gabriel Orozco and David Hammons. At any given moment during its duration, one might simultaneously encounter a displaced Coldstream Guardsman, a musician in search of the other half of their instrument, a sweater unravelling behind its owner, the sound of a tin can being kicked through the city and a painting on the move.

Closing Reception / Party:
June 16, 2011 at 7.30pm
When In Rome/Malta Party 10pm - 6am

Exhibition Dates:
14.06.2011 - 16.06.2011
*(Please check for updates on programme and locations and times of all events)

Malta Contemporary Art

All photos courtesy of Malta Contemporary Art Foundation & the artists