In January 2017 Berlin-based artists Sonya Schönberger and Christof Zwiener were artist in residency on Gozo. They were invited by Fragmenta Malta, for a one day exhibition on the 22th of January. Fragmenta Malta is curated by artist Bettina Hutschek and is supported by Valletta 2018 and consists of a monthly one day exhibition on the Maltese Islands with national and international artists.
„Field trip“ wanted to investigate the coming an going at the ferry terminal of Cirkewwa, the only connection between Malta and Gozo. Sonya and Christof looked at it in a critical way.
The central hall of the waiting area became the location for the artists’ site-specific interventions. This space, situated between departure and arrival, and thus equipped with a certain “tristesse”, provided a place that activates a transition, but naturally also carries with it a functionality such as can be found all over the world. The artists’ works incorporate the functionality of the space in a critical way and present ephemeral work, which picks out as its central theme the relationship between citizen and traveller.
Within his intervention „Quantum“, Christof Zwiener focused on the relationship between residents of both Malta and Gozo, tourists that are only temporarily on the island and foreigners that came to seek refuge. Sonya Schönberger commented with her soundpiece „The Shapeless Mass“ on how we behave as individuals in public space, how we turn into a mass and how we can handle the loss of individualism inside a mass.
LocationCirkewwa Ferry Terminal, Triq Il-Marfa, Mellieħa, Malta
The setting was the waiting area of a ferry service, so one has commuters, tourists and personnel using the area to wait, to have a coffee, to chat, to rush to the ferry ... It is open 24/7. The ferry service provides the only connection between the Islands Malta and Gozo so it is at times very busy.
It affects unknown people since it is an artistic intervention in a public space, so in addition to the art lovers that came especially for this Fragmenta Malta event there were the daily users of the terminal.
How the audience/participants were reached or discovered
On the one hand the audience consisted of users of the ferry service, so they where at the scene because they wanted to take the ferry or because they work for the ferry service. On the other hand there where the art lovers that especially came for the event. Fragmenta Malta and Valletta 2018 have a regular crowd that is alerted by social media, web and direct mail.
How it was done
The event took place in a public space and questioned in an artistic way the difference there might be between a resident of Gozo & Malta, a tourist and a foreigners seeking refuge. The labels on the chairs and the sound installation made people think before they sat down.
Main lessons learned
“Field Trip” is one day artistic intervention by Berlin-based artists Sonya Schönberger and Christof Zwiener at the Ferry Terminal in Cirkewwa. It is part of Fragmenta Malta and was supported by Valletta 2018 for the residency of the artists. The intervention questioned in a critical way our behaviour in a public space.