Re-wrapping the histories of Malta – an Interview with Kosmas Nikolaou

Image from Kosmas Nikolaou’s the ‘Choir and Manoeuvre’ performance at the Villa Bologna.

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In a break from installing and rehearsals for his intervention at Villa Bologna, Kosmas Nikolaou and I took a moment to discuss some of the ideas behind his work for the Transformer Project, how it was made and his experience of the residency.

The residency model is a familiar one for many of the Transformer artists and organisations — something not without its challenges, especially in a project concerned with bringing together a network of Artist Run Organisations through this model — so as the various exhibition of Transformer came together, it was interesting to hear how Kosmas was using his work to navigate this.

The works themselves, a sound-piece and performance-tour with Tunisian performer Dali, explore, un-wrap and re-wrap the various layerings of history, narrative, enactment and power that have been sedimented in Malta and the Villa Bologna. The audio work will feature the song of birds native to the various countries who have claimed a stake in the history of the island; the performance meanwhile sees Dali construct of a world of never-realised installations and interventions in the grounds of the Villa.

In the interview we also hear a clip of the sound work itself.