Dislocated Geographies: Art that transgresses borders and language
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Dislocated Geographies – Drawn, shredded or alluded to in the form of stark geometric lines, maps are the linking thread that run through Mario Abela’s latest experimental exhibition. Abela is a Gozitan visual artist and graphic designer based in Malta.
Abela’s artworks use maps in an attempt for the artist to find meaning and question how the world is presented to us.
The exhibition opens at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta this Friday, the 23rd of February and is the manifestation of, and attempt by Abela to understand the world around him.
The artist’s works combine charcoal drawings and collage, mostly in large format as well as video and sound.
Juxtaposed alongside cut-outs of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, charcoal creations evoking waves and outer space,
Abela said, “I look at maps in the same way that I look at time. Time is a human construct in order to organise the past, the present and the future. Maps are a human construct to arrange the world into what is ours, yours and theirs.”
He explained that, “the random old maps in my works are broken, drawn over or dislocated. This is to shed light on the fact that my works have no borders and speak multiple languages.”
While his interest in science and technology and their impact on society are Abela’s main source of inspiration, the works also feature a gritty element to them in that they are rough to touch.
This alludes to another strong influence for the artist: a childhood spent playing in his father’s and grandfather’s fields. Abela said, “the final result looks, therefore, as if the digital today met my grandfather’s hands of 30 years ago.”
Abela holds a Bachelors Degree in Education and a Masters in Fine Arts – Digital Arts, both from the University of Malta and is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.
Dislocated Geographies runs at Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier, Valletta, until Sunday the 25th of March