Art of Silence revisited

Hey, hey

 

Photo by Mal

 

The “Art of Silence” is going strong. We have been to General Workers Union just yesterday to check how things were going and we were told that many people come to see it on a daily basis. Even tourists.

We have finally got to change the tags. The previous ones were neat but didnt display all the information we wanted to. Mal`s photos requite a context, some kind of explanation and base for the quotes. So right now we have the new tags up with the blog name on it and the proper desciption. If you have a time, please come again and see for yourselves.

 

Photo by Mal

 

Mal on her part would like to ask the person who took “Sexist postcard from Malta” from the wall that this print is to be set “upside down” and this is very rude to take exhibits off the walls in general. She  had to arrange the piece all over again, but noticed that the corner is a bit destroyed. Folks do not do this, thank you in advance. The CCTV cameras are in place too so, it wont take that long to find out who you are…

We had a group coming from M Cast yesterday to see the exhibition and it was really nice to see a lecturer bringing them to check the event and discuss about art and the censorship issue. May to go M`am. The photos are a bit blurry as they were hasteed but they serve their purpose of documenting.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

We would also like to share some new items from the guest book. We have over 10 pages filled with nice comments. Thank you kindly for all the support and encouragement. It means a lot for every artist on this project.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

EDIT (5.1.2011): On November 27 th att General Workers Building an Anti-Racism press conference took place. It ran from 11:00 untill 13:00 pm. We were planning to attend as the Art Of Silence was on the display in the background but we got stucked in the traffic and came only at the very end. Still we believe it was a brilliant idea to stand up and be counted. Some things on this island are just swept under the carpet.

And:

We cant believe that we havent posted those before. When “Art of Silence” exhibition was dismantled, we had ran though the guest book to find some really good last minute entries. We were thinking of sharing them but the shots got lost among others that we took in December. Thankfuly Mal is doing a good cleaning after new year and managed to find them. So here`s a nice epilogue to a trilling project we had a pleasure to participate in.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal - our favourite

 

Yes, its “Art of Silence” re-re-visited.

Loads of hugs and hot chocolate.

Mal and Rita D.

The opening of Art Of Silence

We`re back

photo by Mal, sculpture by Jean- Pierre Azzopardi

 

We have finally managed to edit all the images from the opening of the Art of Silence exhibition. Mal is a happy snapper but work and other (social) commitments in the past two days kept her away from her digital darkroom.

We were kind of suprised when we arrived at the General Workers Union building. There were so many people around. We lost count but for sure there was around 60-90 people, some coming and some going all the time.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal, sculpture by Jean - Pierre Azzopardi

 

Five minutes into the opening, we had to attach the quotes to the respective paintings, which started a wave of attention to our works. At one particular moment, we had three men watching the artworks together, but when Mal tried to take a shot, another visitor appeared in view ruining the composition. We are still posting the photo, because we think its a “great fail”. (Jackie Chan always posts a footage of stunts gone wrong at the end of his movies as “great fails”).

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

 Mark Camilleri gave a passionate speech. He was the mastermind of the project and in the last year had done a lot to raise the question about censorship in Malta. Then the panel followed. It consisted of three speakers (one of them being a writer Anton Bonnici, other two being Norbert Bugeja and Chris Fenech). Each panelist prepared a long and detailed study case (in Anton`s case running for several pages of text) that were then party presented – partly read. We know it takes a lot of research to make such a speech and a lot of guts but we have found it a bit boring. Dont get us wrong. We appreciate high academia and scientific approach but if all three panelist decide to present their arguments in the same manner, its a bit discouraging for the audience. After Anton`s presentation, we quietly went to have a glass of wine and socialize outside. We realize we have missed some heated debate that followed our departure but people in the atrium were also debating fiercely.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

We also had a chat with the guys who were making a reportage about censorship in Malta for Al-Jazeera. Really nice and dedicated folks.
 
When the debate was over, guests went to sign the book and we were really happy to see that they praised the exhibition.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

 We managed to catch on camera fellow artists having a talk about their own works (Hi Julian!!). And our good friend – Martin Galea de Giovanni made this nice portrait of Mal.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Martin Galea de Giovanni

All in all, it was a fine night. The exhibition runs untill the end of this month, so if you havent seen it already, make sure you do.

Photo by Mal

 

MGD drove us home as we were dead tired. We own you a beer, Mart. Next time we meet, its on us.

Thats all to report. Now we need to finish yet another project and we already have something on our mind. But then again, we plan all the time, because we love art and we love to express ourselves through many creative channels. And that, no censor in Malta or abroad can take from us.

Love and glitter

Mal and Rita

Being observed

May we have your attention, please

 
 

Photo by Mal

 

 The day zero for is coming. Tomorrow at the General Workers Union building in Valletta, our masterplan will be revealed.

All is set up and we will be gathering around 18:30 pm for the grand opening.

 

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

Last Saturday we have set up all the works, the drinks are ordered and basicly all we need is the public to come and enjoy the event.

We believe it is going to be the sexiest, most thought provoking exhibition of the year. It is also gonna kick some censor ass. Because unlike the Board of Classification, the local artists have balls and are not afraid to stand up for their rights to freedom of expression.

Photo by Mal

 

We will let you have a quick peek because at heart we are exhibition-ists. So enjoy the free voyeur behind the stages of The Art Of Silence. To enhance your experience Mal decided to edit all the photos in similiar way. Now it really feels like peeping though a hole in the wall. It is exactly how the Board works.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

Please spread the word and bring as many people as you can for the opening. The more of us gathers, the clearer and stronger will be our message. We will not tolerate anybody trying to squeeze us into their own little frames. We are artists and as such we think outside of box, we break the rules and we provoke thoughts. We create and we have the right to do it without being prosecuted or patronised.

Photo by Mal

 

So remember remember 16th of November (with apologies to V, no apologies are being offered to the censors. If something they SHOULD apologize to us…).

Photo by Rita

We are leaving you with a portrait that Rita took of Mal at work.

See ya tomorrow

Mal+Rita D.

Shock and horror

Allo,

 

It`s coming a bit later than we thought. But here it is nontheless. The post where Malicia will reveal her artwork for the exhibition against the censorship.

While Rita protests the government`s influence on the artistic expression in music, Mal takes on many different topics at one go. You know three censors, one stone.

There is a big problem with censorship in Malta. Like you cannot go and see plays in the theatre because they may get banned or altered. If the “Classification Board” doesnt like a certain part of the play, they will force the director to remove it, before a play can hit the stage. It happened to “One day in the death of Joe Egg”, it happened to “Stitches”, it even happened to some works of Shakespeare.

Our local censors think its for a greater good of the nation. And its values. But they only take their own values and views into consideration. The fact that somebody may be profoundly offended  because work of art is being treated like trash is not recognised as a valid point. Because we all should be devoted fanatics and have common view on ethics. Irony is this that world doesnt work that way. Only Borgs have a common mentality, the rest of the universum varies considerably.

Its a mental claustrophobia Mal thinks (does anybody wonder how censors sleep at night with the lights out?), the only solustion lies in travels. Once you leave the sacred rock of Melita and you move your patata abroad, you may experience different states of mind. But since Mal doesnt have enough money to fund the whole Board of Censors a holiday in the civilised countries, she decided to bring them a souvenir. Its a photo of state run theatre in Manchester with its glorious relief that says “The Play mirrors life”.

You see dear censors, truth is always stranger than the fiction. People wont get corrupted by seeing a play, its the play that tells them they are already corrupted. And offers them a chance to purify themselves. That why Ancient Greeks had something called “κάθαρσις”.

Here`s Wikipedia to the rescue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartharsis

And theres the image and lets hope some censors will given the enlightment (or a satori, we dont particulary care if that comes by the grace of gods or a wooden stick).

Photo by Mal

 

The photo also comes with a quote for more of a dramatic effect. By home we mean both Malta and censors` own households.

 

“Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there.” – Clare Booth Luce

 

Another issue that Malicia would like to raise during the exhibition is the trouble we have with the clothes or rather, lack of them. In past months police were sent to cover shop mannequins and tourists were assaulted for wearing a bikini. Society tends to act the same way its “elites”.  So if you have scaremongerers running around and screaming that a play or artwork offends public morals, sooner or later some lunatic will pick up the subject and take it to the extremum. It happened that a girl was coming from a beach to buy a bottle of water and was assaulted first by some woman who called her names then by a mixed crowd that threatened to throw the girl into the sea. This eposode was accompanied by a series of letters printed in the papers that portrayed tourists and language students as pure evil and hordes of vandals.

EDIT: 9.02.2011. We want to show you exactly where the girl was threatened to be thrown into the sea. It happened in Balluta Bay. Judge for yourself what chances of survival a teenage person has when being pushed from these stairs:

Image by MalPhoto by Mal

Photo by Mal

*END of EDIT* 

On a really serious note, you have to be very careful when you accuse anybody of offending public morals, because you never know who is listening to you out there. You may say something in a good intention and it will turn out fatal. Perhaps it would be better if the censors here got a real life and stopped fighting with the windmills. Or perhaps they should be held passively responsible for this assault.

The photo to illustate this story shows a language student named Enrique, 16 who was in Malta this summer and also knew the assaulted girl. She wouldnt want to reveal her face. Yet she agreed to pose to a photo that reminds a series of postcards you can buy in any shop and feature tons of naked women. So here`s your sexist postcard from Malta.

Photo by Mal

 

And there`s Malicia`s favourite line from “1984” by George Orwell:


“I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt.”

 

Last but (unfortunately) not least Malicia wants to test the sanity of our censors and the society.

Its a very quick and easy test, wont hurt too much either (unless you dont have any braincells left that is).

Its called “What is wrong with this picture?”. It is called “Socialist serenade”. You have one minute. Go.

Photo by Mal

 

Did you notice the red and the stars? Where you thinking Lenin, Brezniev and Glasnost? Well, news is this is old paint peeling off an old house in the UK, and some metal construction fragments that keep the house intact. Its an abstract photo of an actual wall, nothing added, maybe just a bit of contrast in the CS2.

You wouldnt believe how many people asked Malicia if she was a Socialist…All`s in the name, nomen omen. All we need to do is to tell a title and you will begin to see things that are not there. Thats exactly the state of mind of our Board of Censors. They are loosing it, to put it mildly. They sense conspiracy, even when it comes to pay per view channels.

Mal would like to leave you with the quote  that will go with this print:

“Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion”-  David Cronenberg

 

We hope to see you on the 16th.

Kisses,

Mal and Rita

Its not war – just the end of love

Hey there,

You know, we think we are going to war. Well its not like we are signing up for military and will be dispatched to Iraq in a couple of weeks. Its gonna be an art war. We gonna shoot with quotes, music, paint, photographic prints and yes we are gonna be very intellectual. Its gonna hit home and hurt. We are gonna make people fall from their high moral horse and walk it from Valletta. Because we are angry.

You may want to ask who pissed us off so much that they will be quoted Orwell and Manics at. Well, its the Malta Board of Censors and local politicians who openly vouch for regime in Iran and fight the pay per view channels in hotel rooms.

If you missed the thrill on Halloween, theres a bunch of articles you can read and get a heart attack:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/aug/05/an-obscene-crackdown-on-maltese-culture
http://archive.maltatoday.com.mt/2008/01/27/censorship.html
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100609/local/id-rather-live-in-iran-labour-mp

or in short: a story is published and writer is taken to court, books are removed from University library, plays are changed or banned, films are cut and edited, bands are asked to submit lyrics before they perform, carnival costumes land people with suspended jail sentences.

Its enough to give oneself a nervous breakdown. Well there are enough downers in the world so we decided to stand up to the Big Brother with a group of other artists. And we join the “The Art of Silence” exhibition that will open in the capital on 16th of November.

design by Julian Mallia

Out of all the local little horrors, Rita liked the most the story about last year`s carnival when police asked bands to submit lyrics before the show. You know it was perfectly justified. After all you never know when Maltese pop acts will decide to cover Ice T`s “Cop Killer” or worse “Little baby Swastika”;).

So she decided to explore the theme of banning music and causing fear among artists. She even has two beautiful pieces to go with the theme. One is called “Lipstick Lies” which is inspired by Manic Street Preachers. The other is named after Ian Browns tune “FEAR”.

Rita just had the works framed and they will come with beautiful quotes that Rita think will enhance the experience for the Board of Censors.

Photo by Mal

You know Manics in the Richey era: panda eyes, fake fur, lipctick all over, glitter, feather boas, provocative poses and sacrasm. “Lipstic traces” has it all. It will be published with a quote from a song “Donkeys”.

“Put some lipstick on at least your lies will be pretty”.

Artwork by Rita

Oh yes we can definately see MP Adrian Vassallo with a lipstick on. Especially when landing in Iran 🙂

You can see the video here

Photo by Mal

The other artwork is inspired by this track:

Does the violent pink shirt scares you? We are as scared when we think that Univeristy bans books.

artwork by Rita

This piece will go with a quote from Mae West:

“I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it”.

We also believe that somebody is cashing on the whole censorhip nonsense. But we aint gonna jump into conspiracy theories. Just please call Mulder and Scully…

😀
What Mal is preparing you will find out tomorrow.
X..
Mal and Rita

Art Sale wrap up

And its done

Photo by Mal

The Art Sale had closed at 15:00 today. We had quite a nice crowd considering the fact that it was raining.

What can we say? It was a great expeprience, both meeting people and selling art wise. Pauleen managed to sell a big painting, Rita sold two of her cat series collages and all of us sold prints. Not bad for the first time, not at all. Actually we are thinking of setting up another one in May next year. It will be a third consecutive year of the art sale and we plan to organise some really cool stuff. Want a teaser? How about combining filigree and photographic prints? Or offering unique items to collectors? Ha, we told you that it is going to suprise you. We will keep the best bits to ourselves for now. It needs a lot of preparations, you know, Rome wasnt built in a day.

Photo by Mal

As we have mentioned before we had a nice crowd, it felt vey intimate in the same time and everyone was simply fantastic. Mal managed to snap some nice images that show the atmosphere:

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

And we had a group photo at the very end.

Photo by Mal

We are really really pleased. We also hope that next time all those who couldnt attend will be able to join us.

Hope you all had a great week end. We had a ball. As seen on this photo take by Roseann:

Photo by Rose Ann Borg

Now full steam ahead for the next event that will be on 16th of November.

Update cooming soon.
Hugs and hot chocolate because its cold outside

Mal and Rita.

Day One is over

Photo by Mal

Folks,

Just a really quick message and few photos to go with it. We had a great time this evening. It was intimate but worth every second and we have first sells! We have actually got more than after Notte Bianca.

Just to remind you there are four artists participating in the Art Sale this week-end in St Paul`s bay: Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz, Pauleen Micallef and Rose Ann Borg.

This afternoon we left our home with a suitcase full of artworks and Rita `s masks. We also got a very nice wine with us with cool names. We mean: who can resist a wine that is called: Harmony, Character or Elegance? It sums up the artwork that we are offering so we just couldnt give it a miss.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Once at Pauleen`s studio we arraned very quickly. In two hours all the studio have been turned in a lovely art gallery. Each artist has two tables. Our stand lookd like this and is near the entrance:

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

And this is what Pauleen and Rose Ann have in store:

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

There is also  abit of food and a guestbook to sign.

Photo by Mal

On Sunday we open at 10:00 clock and will trade untill early afternoon. So if you havent got to meet us yet, please do. We have sold some of the items already and since we are dealing unique items and limited prints, it is worth coming over to St Pauls Bay. You may not only end up with a collector`s item but also you can hang out with the artists and have a glass of wine.

Photo by Mal

This evening we ended up having all female panel discussing everything from politics, art, travelling to taxes and eating out. Wish you were here. Warm greeting s go to Mrs Connie Bugeja for being a truly remarkable lady.

Still excited,

M+R (+P+R)