In Spring 2011 I got together with two Maltese artists and another British artist to work on a short film project. Entitled EUR – 908, the resulting short film commented upon a ubiquitous past-time of the Maltese people that seemed too peculiar to avoid. Since then the film has been exhibited in:
(ICA) 9th London Short Film Festival: Leftfield and Luscious (London, 2012)
Konnektor #4 “Sommerfest” – Direct Action Performance Video Show (Hannover, 2011)
Direct Action Festival 2011 (Berlin, 2011)
Gram [May Program] (Istanbul, 2011)
Let me give you the synopsis for this piece of work.
One of Malta’s popular past-times is sitting in the car outside of the city, along the coast, in the hills, looking at the surrounding vistas. Over the weekend, coastlines and coastal car parks are populated by vehicles that are often hosting whole families, groups of friends, or couples. The car is the living environment and the landscape is only a spectacle. We are a step away from a cage here. Inside the car one performs one’s routines, social and personal. Looking out of the car, the landscape is framed by the car’s body – the landscape is cut into the classical landscape perspective – one is voyeur of the world outside. With the exception of cars with tinted windows, from the outside looking in the car frames the occupants as in classical portraits – head and shoulders. Additionally a situation is arranged for the voyeur looking in. Like the car, a cage performs the same voyeuristic role except the cage now adds some new paradigmatic characteristics to the situation: None of which are liberating to the subject.
Maltese culture to the side, the film documents an active exploration of site. An exploration that utilised two performing bodies, a sculpture (a cage on wheels) and the camera perspective in the formation of a film-work.
The title of the work is written in the style of a car registration plate and is the total amount that project cost to create over a 10 day period. On the one hand the registration plate number is the legal and authorised identity of the vehicle. On the other hand this is the value of that vehicle; Or is it the value of the work that took place or the value of the artists themselves.
All of these points are in reference to the arts and culture industry as an industrial process.
As as an educational and informal accompaniment to the short film, a short video piece was made that explained the creative process that we were applying. In it we explain what site specific means to a creator and what problems did we encounter as we worked.