31 Jan Andrew Borg Wirth: Collaborating on ‘Ochre’
ON THE 18TH, 19TH AND 20TH FEBRUARY 2022, ŻFINMALTA PREMIERES ‘OCHRE’ BY GEORGIA TEGOU, AS PART OF THE NEW DOUBLE BILL ‘ŻFINDAYS’ AT VALLETTA CAMPUS THEATRE
Andrew Borg Wirth, set and costume design for ŻfinMalta’s ‘Ochre,’ and interdisciplinary artist, architect, and curator, tells us more…
“Thus the antiquarian seeks to both distance and appropriate the past. In order to entertain an antiquarian sensibility, a rupture in historical consciousness must have occurred, creating a sense that one can make one’s own culture other-distant and discontinuous. Time must be seen as concomitant with a loss of understanding, a loss which can be relieved through the reawakening of objects and, thereby, a reawakening of narrative.” – Susan Stewart in ‘On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection’
Georgia Tegou and I met for the first time in London and entertained the idea of how museums and their visitors intervene, contribute and appropriate their artefacts, because so much about them is shrouded in mystery. With the sleeping lady and the venuses of Malta, in Ochre we found ourselves doing just that. We have crafted the set and costumes of this piece to create tools which the dancers use to create a dramaturgy as the piece progresses. We started the process with images of caves, wombs, a heart beat, the sun and museum plinths, and crafted out of them a new language for the piece to the sounds of the original score by Liran Donin.
Georgia’s practice is motivated by dance as design; whereas my design method is informed by my interest in curation, so this has been an exhilarating, collaborative process. It is clearer to us both now why Paolo brought us together. We worked closely together in London, but then took some time apart to develop our ideas for the piece separately, joining again in Malta for a productive, intensive workshop at the beginning of January. The dancers and Anna from ŻfinMalta were committed to creating work that reacts to our methods and intentions, and it has been beautiful to watch. The piece unfolded and changed as the dancers informed themselves with everything we had been creating. What has resulted is the reawakening of a story we didn’t even know was close to us both.