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On October 15 FRAGMENTA invited the people of Malta to an art-event in Gudja to discover “Psychoarcheology,” a project in the form of a temporary intervention by artist-in-residence Erik Smith. Drawing on psychogeography and urban archeology, this trans-disciplinary, “psychoarcheological” project is conducted on a field close to the Chapel Ta Loretu, looking out on the airport runway. This site was identified by overlaying a network of “ley lines” onto maps of the island based on the location of existing archeological sites and prominent geological features.
The project seeks to produce an altered awareness of the contemporary landscape and its relationship to the ancient past. A modest publication of selected map drawings and documented sites will be presented to the public in addition to the intervention.
Ley lines are supposed straight alignments of prehistoric temples, megaliths, and significant geological features. Originally associated with ancient trackways or paths in the landscape, some claim that such lines and their points of intersection resonate a special psychic or mystical energy capable of affecting consciousness. Psychoarcheology takes up this phenomenon, mapping the points of intersection between alignments of known Neolithic temples, dolmen, and menhir across Malta in a quest to identify new sites for investigation and excavation. Part science, part pseudo-science, the project employs competing methodologies and ways of interpreting the world, alluding to the limits and blind spots inherent to both and calling into question what is knowable in an age of increasingly quantified experience.
FRAGMENTA is a platform for presenting contemporary art in the form of pop-up exhibitions in public or semi-public spaces on the Maltese Islands. As a project space without a physical space, FRAGMENTA’s mission is to offer experiences in form of artistic events, which happen in different locations or settings in and around Malta, lasting a maximum duration of 24 hours. FRAGMENTA has been organizing events and exhibitions since 2013.
Each exhibition is curated by Bettina Hutschek, who also determines setting and location. The exhibitions are born through a collaborative process between FRAGMENTA and the artist.
Bettina Hutschek participated into the Mahalla festival in September and will be artist-in-residence in Istanbul in 2018, the residency program of the Berlin Senate.
Erik Smith (US) studied comparative literature and art in the US and Italy and has lived and worked in Berlin, Germany since 2003.
The Wandering Tower is the title of a surrealist short story by Sergej Prokofiev from the times of vivid migration movements on the edge of the world wars.
The Festival was quoting the title as a metaphorical frame for Mahalla 2020/2021. The tower of Babel is connected as a motive to the search for the origin of language and the access to the divine.