With Mikhail Karikis & Almagul Menlibayeva
Curated by Maren Richter
At Valletta Contemporary, Malta
July 19 – 14 August 2019
This Land Is Your Land, curated by Maren Richter, is a photography and video based show that brings together two artists, who share similar concerns, on how land has been commodified or occupied by various interests. Those disputed fields, which the artists work in, are orchestrated by history, rights, politics and economy, but also memory, rituals and traditions, that play a central role in the appropriation of land. Almagul Menlibayeva, born in Kazakhstan and based in Berlin, revolves around ecology and feminism by creating appealing imagery in order to look into the Post-Soviet life in rural Kazakhstan.
Greek artist Mikhail Karikis, based in London and Lisbon, investigates voice as a sculptural material and a socio-political agent. He often works with and gives voice to children in post-industrial towns, which seem to inhale a ‘No Future’ perspective and a socio-economic narratives of de-industrialisation, post-Fordism, resettlement, and migration.
At the same time the presentation of those artists could be seen as a response to current debates in Malta about land-use and large-scale plans of urban developments on the limited territory of the archipelago.
The exhibition at Valletta Contemporary takes palce 75 years after Woody Guthrie recorded the Song This Land is Your Land in critical response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.”