għidli ma’ min

 - meaning ‘tell me with whom’ -

Here, a sense of identity becomes forged through the techniques and skills that my father endeavored, unsuccessfully, to hand down to me. Now I am choosing to re-discover and re-apply that technical know-how for ‘non-functional’ art. Perhaps this is a flawed endeavour. I think that there are autobiographical fragments in all of my work, but in this piece, it becomes uncomfortably close to the bone. 

On many levels, this work struggles - the puzzle kinetics do not run smoothly, the pixellated images of my portrait and that of my dad do not emerge seamless, the underlying themes of the work are not clear. This awkwarness, however, does portray my identity struggles perfectly. With a title from a Maltese proverb - ‘għidli ma’ min tagħmilha u ngħidlek x’int’ - I introduce a playful approach that adds another dimension to this quest - by using existing facebook contacts.  According to the nature of the puzzle, the resloving element aids the work’s unfolding. However, the decoding of meaning occurs in more than one way.

Għidli ma’ min | mahagony, vinyl print, HDF board | 2x (204 x 204 cm) | Valletta | 2012 | photographed by the artist
Għidli ma’ min | photographed by the artist | featuring work by Zharko Basheski and Tracey Emin
Għidli ma’ min (detail) | photographed by the artist
Għidli ma’ min (detail) | photographed by the artist



All artwork © Joseph Calleja | Please do not download, reproduce or share without permission

Studio 73|75|77
77 Mgarr Road Qala Gozo Malta