We are pleased to invite you to the first edition of MARLANDS – Mediterranean Islands BIENNALE.
I landed exhibition will take place in Malta, and will continue in Mallorca, Sicily and Cyprus.
Navigating through the infinite blue smoothness of the sea, outlines are revealed. The Broken land is defined in its struggle against water, as a confirmation of its end or at least its containment.
Territory of Earth and Sea, “the unity of opposites” (1). A place of inspiration, a source of wisdom, a source of analysis of the human condition in all its complexity: emotions, freedom, sensuality, imagination, memory, political structures, and cultural conditioning. There is mainly the seaside, an area where “a certain smell or scent that we do not need to express: we all feel it through our skin” Camus (2). The well-being of the marine ecology, as well as its resourcefulness, are seen clearly on the island.
– What will happen if this whole balance is upset through the invention of new ways to undermine it in the Post-Terra era?
As I walk inland the conversations of passersby, in different languages–sometimes from distant countries, can be heard: a place where many cultures meet, where wanderers have disembarked and continue to arrive. Towns and villages start to appear, embedding their architecture organically in the natural landscape.
Through the mythology and the rituals that remained in the collective imagination I understand a unique history and culture, which emphasizes the powerful omnipresent role of the Mediterranean ecosystem itself.
My mood for adventure stems from an expectation of new discoveries and the anticipation of unforgettable encounters with the islanders.
– I follow in the footsteps of Odysseus!
Knowing I am on new land, dreams of being lost and escaping suffocating cities arise. In an age obsessed with appearance, in which inner well-being has somehow become secondary, the desire to isolate oneself is especially felt on the island, where, in line with Deleuze’s (3), in order to start from scratch, to recreate the space, the life around us and to recreate ourselves, to start over, imagining a harmonious symbiosis with geography itself. Finding freedom and health, fulfilling the willingness to go beyond oneself, to feel and act more vividly, I dissolve.
– I landed.
This exhibition is a series of experiences that allow you to discover the fragments that make up the identity and the problems of a unique natural and cultural world, a Mediterranean island, through recreating and co-participating to let the history, culture and nature, find the way to coexist. To be inspired, to create in Harmony.
These experiences have already been lived, put into shape and put in form by guest artists of contemporary art in collaboration with local masters of traditional crafts, scholars, musicians, researchers and islanders. Each work that received its birth on one island has been reproduced on one of the others, taking on the forms and characteristics of the place.
Today, the islands in the Mediterranean are at their most vulnerable and some are on the brink of extinction. Here, as in a capsule, all global changes happen quickly due to human activity, whether it be social processes or ecosystem changes. It is possible to trace different evolutions and dwindling resources in view of climate change and level of cultural dynamics in a short time and that is why they are of great interest to researchers of different directions.
Here, the origins of European civilization have been preserved for centuries, with unique cultural characteristics on each of the islands.
Here, the ideas of creating a different world found their embodiment. The organization of life, in many ways interpreting the language of nature which with proper understanding allows one to act in a harmonious way.
The short art residencies and subsequent travelling exhibitions of the MARLANDS project aim to question and raise awareness about the islands, which, being part of the Mediterranean permeate human imagination and thinking, and highlight the need of more specific action. The project also creates a unique communicative space between the inhabitants and the cultural, artistic and scientific actors of the islands and of the European continent. As a result, not only the discovery of some interesting features, but also of the cultural identity of the island are unveiled, highlighting the environmental problems, and also the ongoing exchange and mutual enrichment of the participants and spectators themselves.
Text: Elena Posokhova.
(2) Camus, Albert: The New Mediterranean Culture,
(3) Gilles Deleuze: Desert Island.