Visiting Gozo and Malta was an extremely exciting experience considering the great history of the country and its geostrategic position in the Mediterranean Sea. Of course I was deeply interested in discovering the city of La Valetta, the capital of the country, its monuments and history, its present life as well as the landscapes of the islands, including the wonderful view of Comino Island, which was visible from the ferry on the way from Malta to Gozo. This trip was not only a good opportunity for us to meet again and talk about work, future projects and possibilities, but also a fantastic chance to discover the reality of a new island, one of my favourite “obsessions.” I had taken the opportunity to make this trip with my son and I must say that Norbert and Marisa were really very hospitable and they were wonderful guides during our days on Gozo.
Going to Norbert Attard’s place also confronted us with an interesting architectural complex, which was designed by him. Norbert is also an architect. His architectural work included some residences, his house and his marvellous studio that also functions as an art space – Gozocontemporary. Its main focus is on organizing artists in residence projects with artists working on video programs and art meetings. The atmosphere of this space is really suitable to organizing projects like this. It fulfils the conditions one needs to concentrate, to quietly and calmly develop ideas and projects. During those days the Australian artist Simone Eisler was staying at Norbert Attard’s Gozocontemporary art space. Eisler had been introduced to Attard by his colleague and good friend Kevin Wilson, a well-known Australian curator and art producer who is based in Brisbane City.
The first day on Gozo, while Norbert was showing me all around his places, I could see somebody moving around, working here and there, checking e-mails at the big studio… Finally Norbert introduced us and this was my first meeting with Simone Eisler. During these four days on Malta and especially on Gozo, all of us used the opportunity to talk a lot about our projects, ideas or impressions, about this or that, and this was the way I got to know what Simone’s work is about and what her artistic concerns are. I must say that right from the beginning, I had a very positive impression of her work. I remember her dealing with big fish skins, drying them on the roof of Norbert’s house and I was wondering what was going on… One day I woke up early, as usually, and walked around. It was an amazing experience to get down to the studio. From a distance, I could see a wonderful, very subtle piece, like a small piece of dress hanging on one of the whitewashed walls. As I got closer and closer, I discovered that the dry fish skin had turned into a wonderful piece of art. Definitely I would have the opportunity to talk more with Simone Eisler about her work, her diverse and very interesting art projects, exhibitions and especially her works and actions in public spaces.
A nice atmosphere was all around us, giving us the possibility to meet once again and exchange ideas.
A day before we left the islands, Norbert appeared on the terrace with a printed paper, laughing. He had just received information on the application deadline for a curatorial urban project in Berlin for 2011 organized by Haus der Kulturen der Welt called Meridian I Urban …We started reading and saw that it was part of the conditions of the open call to at least include an artist based in Berlin (Norbert had just got a house in Berlin and had just begun to spend half of his time there and the other half in Gozo), an artist from Asia or Australia, which was Simone Eisler, and a curator, and that was me. The very three persons that casually met those days in June 2010 at Gozocontemporay and who presently work very hard and enthusiastic for the “Berlin-Laughter Project” in the context of Meridian I Urban in September 2011.