‘Come Don’t Come’ takes a humorous look at the ambiguous feelings of residents towards visitors through sculptural and performative elements.
Tom Van Malderen’s work ranges from buildings to furniture design, installations and exhibitions.
He is interested in probing the intersections between art, design and architecture in his practice; always on the lookout for material gestures in everyday constellations, split personalities in objects and ambiguities in the construction of social space.
Born in Belgium, Valletta has been his home for the past 20 years and the work is based on the notions of gentrification, museumification, ownership and identity in the Biċċerija area.
“The idea was to set up three guard posts around town for the opening weekend and have the community involved and actually acting there as guards to interact with people, to tell a story about their emotions and about their feelings, about the good and the bad and the fear and the dreams about the neighbourhood… To leave one, two or three words that inspire them and that tell something about what they’re expecting to find in this neighbourhood,” Tom Van Malderen says.
This intervention reflects on the theme of Displacement – one of the nine curatorial themes of fuse. The fluidity of the parametres defining the Biċċerija area are personal, everchanging and complex, entirely based as a consequence of constructs. Although its exact boundaries cannot be essentially delineated, the abundance of interpretations and the blurred distinction between one area and another resembles the notion of a continuously developing space. The Biċċerija area is essentially identified by the previous use of a building which became a focal point of a community. It is situated in close proximity to other zones in Valletta including il-Baviera and Dui Balli, which have certain commonalities and essential differences.
Curated by Elyse Tonna, fuse is a collaborative visual arts and research project which explores and uncovers aspects of the intangible history and the intangible stories of the area.