The Malta Independent 22 June 2024, Saturday
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Final Inearth, Unearth event: Fusion of performance art and music

Thursday, 16 May 2024, 08:22 Last update: about 2 months ago

A collaboration featuring performance art and contemporary music for the final event of Inearth, Unearth: Archives of Matter and Ritual, an exhibition at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta.

For the closing of Inearth, Unearth: Archives of Matter and Ritual, artist Victor Agius will be performing alongside long-term collaborator composer Dr Mariella Cassar-Cordina. The site-specific performance named 'Archives of Matter' will feature the fusion of contemporary art and music within the four galleries of Space C at Spazju Kreattiv during the final day of the exhibition, which is curated by Elyse Tonna. This event will be happening this Sunday 19 May at 11am and is open to the general public free of charge.


Victor Agius's multidisciplinary exhibition offers a captivating exploration of materiality, memory and the human condition. Inearth, Unearth: Archives of Matter and Ritual is a testament to Agius' profound engagement with the materials fundamental to his artistic practice. Through meticulous excavation and introspection, Agius unearths traces of individual and collective memory, illuminating ancestral legacies and contemporary existential dilemmas alike. Natural materials, such as soil, stone, and clay, serve as poignant repositories of meaning and memory in Agius' work. Mirroring the attitudes and livelihoods of civilisations across history, these materials bear witness to the cyclical process of discovery, recollection, and exploration. With a keen focus on Gozo's geological and archaeological heritage, Agius employs matter and ritual as primary methods for his artistic exploration, crafting a narrative that transcends time and space. Yet, Agius' engagement with materials extends beyond the natural realm, encompassing synthetic substances like concrete and cement. Reflecting contemporary consumerist and capitalist ideologies, these materials hold cultural and societal significance, embodying the complex interplay between tradition and progress:

"Victor constantly references and reshapes his work to dig deeper into this primordial symbolism in order to find new ways to carry his 'mother/matter' analogy and transpose it to resonate within a contemporary sensibility." (Vince Briffa, 2024).

Besides his ceramic works, installation, and mixed media sculptures and paintings, Victor Agius has created several contemporary art performances and events linked with his diverse artistic research and practice. In 2009 Agius was invited to exhibit at the Florence Biennale where he met Marina Abramovic who was presented the Lorenzo il Magnifico award. In the same year he co-founded Ars Vitae Ensemble with Gozitan Composer Dr Mariella Cassar-Cordina. His performances and events include: Pulverem, 2010 (Family tomb, Xagħra Parish Cemetery), Pilgrim 2011 (Central St Martin's University of the Arts - London, London Mosque, Westminister Cathedral and Westminster Abbey amongst others), Phusis 2013 (Mielħa cliffs Marsalforn), Pulvis 2014 (Lauba Gallery, Zagreb) and Ancestors 2024, Construction site at Ta' Xħajma in Gozo.  

Since June 2013 a number of his events and performances related to contemporary art, music and literature took an interdisciplinary nature thanks to his ongoing collaboration with Dr. Mariella Cassar-Cordina a prolific contemporary composer and musician and author Dr Immanuel Mifsud. These performances were held in prehistoric temples, catacombs, public art spaces and galleries. These include - Ġgantija 2013 Project in collaboration with Dr. Immanuel Mifsud, Layers 2016, St Agatha's Catacombs complex Rabat, Terrae 2018, Iniala Gallery Valletta, Ħaġarna public art sculpture and community performance, 2019 Xagħra Gozo and Għejżu Cave 2023, Artist in Residence at Bored Peach Club, 2023, also in Xagħra.

Mariella Cassar-Cordina is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music and educator. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Administration and Management from the University of Malta. In 2005 she was awarded the M. Phil (Music) from the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta. Having been a regular student of Maltese composer Charles Camilleri, she decided to further her studies at Falmouth University incorporating Dartington College of Arts, UK, where she obtained a doctorate degree in Music composition. Her works vary from solo, chamber to full-orchestral works. She has collaborated with various musicians, and visual artists on a number of interdisciplinary projects. Her latest collaboration with Austrian Artist Nicola Ginzel started in 2020 in an online residency organised through Undercurrent, entitled 1001. This project lasted six weeks over zoom, with a physical exhibition at Austrian Cultural Forum (NYC). The project was supported by EU National Institutions for Culture based in NYC and Malta Arts Council.

Dr Mariella Cassar-Cordina has been member of jury in a number of international festivals, including the Malta International Choir Festival in 2011. She is also an Education Officer for Music in Malta, lecturer at the School of Performing Arts and Faculty of Education at the University of Malta. She is also the founder of the Malta Association of Music Educators (MAME) and co-founder of Ars Vitae Ensemble.

Inearth, Unearth: Archives of Matter and Ritual is curated by Elyse Tonna at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta. The exhibition is open until the 19th of May 2024 and is supported by Arts Council Malta and APS Bank. The performance will be happening this Sunday 19th of May at 11:00 am and is open to the general public free of charge.






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