Aaron Bezzina, Malta, 2017
The Blitz Residency Programme also sends local artists abroad. In 2017 Aaron Bezzina was the successful recipient of the inaugural Blitz-Snehta Residency. Artists living and working in Malta were invited to apply to undertake a one-month residency in Greece. Snehta was formed in 2012 in Athens with the purpose of bringing international artists and curators into contact with the Athenian art scene. In the fall of 2017, Snehta opened its doors to eight (8) international contemporary art practitioners to live and work in Athens and Aaron was a part of this intake.
Aaron Bezzina (b. 1991) lives and works in Malta. Bezzina has recently graduated from the Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts from the University of Malta and holds a BA in Fine Arts from MCAST Institute of Art and Design in Malta. He focuses on existential questions related to mortality and philosophical issues such as the immersion of art and the ontology of the artwork with a distinct sense of irony and sarcasm. Exhibitions include: MEMENTO MORI: Hints Taken From Terror Management Theory (a Fragmenta event), Ghajn Tuffieha Tower, Il-Mellieha, Malta/ HOMO MELITENSIS: AN INCOMPLETE INVENTORY IN 19 CHAPTERS, Malta Pavilion – La Biennale di Venezia, Arsenale, Venice, Italy, IN TRANSIT: Contemporary Media Art by Artists from Malta, NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf, Germany & Stadskantoor, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
About the Athens project
Working with curator Eleni Riga, Aaron presented the solo exhibition Reinventing the Wheel. The exhibition was informed by the Wheel of Human Life, an icon from 1800 from the collection of the Byzantine Museum in Athens. The wheel of human life has been a recurrent motif since antiquity, mostly used during the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period to express the vanity of human earthly life. Both the didactic allegory of the wheel and the idiomatic metaphor “reinventing the wheel” offer a remarkable coherence to the artist’s existential quests into vanity and mortality. Bezzina’s use of the wheel, an archetype of human ingenuity, aimed to show the essence of artistic gesture, peppered with scepticism and sarcasm towards the artwork’s ontology and legitimacy. A closed loop system, perpetually repeating itself, questioned the idea of use value and commodification of the artwork. The Greek myth of Sisyphus comes to complete and underline the conscious absurdity of the mechanical repetition.
It is hoped the work will be reinstalled as a public art commission in Athens in the summer of 2018.