Ġgantija 2013 Performance
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra Gozo-Malta
21st June 2013
Musicians: Emese Tóth and David Lang; Simon Abdilla Joslin; Gisèle Grima; Alistair Attard; Alan Cordina; Renzo Spiteri and Soprano Miriam Cauchi
Composer and Conductor: Mariella Cassar-Cordina
Writer: Immanuel Mifsud
Visual Artist: Victor Agius
Curator: Vince Briffa
Photographic documentation by Daniel Cilia, Anthony Grech, Tonio Schembri and Paul Stellini.
Art Project Ġgantija 2013
Embarking on an intervention of an artistic nature as a reaction to such a highly charged site as the Ġgantija Temples in Gozo, is indeed an act of admirable courage, particularly when the venture happens at the very heart of the site itself.
Such an arduous challenge is taken head-on by a duo of young Gozitan artists who, inspired by the architectural sophistication of this ancient container for communal ritual, have over the last couple of years developed a creative process of interdisciplinary discourse, the culmination of which is this art project which homes in on our experience of idiom, time and place through referencing the limits of our own existence.
The Ġgantija Art Project explicitly explores the resonance of matter as a fundamental language in a search for a universal meaning through a transcendent spatiotemporal dialogue. The symbiosis of sound and matter, conveyed through Mariella Cassar’s contemporary classical music composition and Victor Agius’s sculptural and media installations, redefines today’s meaning of collective ritual through a combined process of production and reaffirms man’s innate regard for the creative process as a distinctive means of realising a higher state of being.
Agius appropriates found and utilitarian objects and displaces them from their day-to-dayness. He places them within the temple context to become ambiguous three dimensional forms which at times are also used to formally prop other sculptural interventions executed in raw clay, ceramics, stones and pebbles, straw, twigs, branches and natural pigments. This combination of found objects, sculpture and furniture create a discordant resonance with the temples and propels us to reconsider the incessant transformation of our own identity through the implicit meaning of matter. The ambiguity of this evocation is further heightened by the visceral sonority of Cassar’s composition which manages to concurrently evoke the primordial desires of our ancestors while contemporaneously speak in a modish language. Like Agius’ work, this evocative composition cuts across the boundaries of the temples on a spatial level, claiming site specificity through the expansive setup of its performers; and also on a temporal level through its coeval and inclusive locution which spans millennia.
More importantly, such resourceful dialogue contributes to a greater understanding of our identity, making us reflect on who our ancestors were in order to understand who we really are.