Stemming from stories of domestic life in the streets around the Biċċerija building, Samuel Ciantar’s ‘Inside – Out’ imagines possibilities of coexistence with plants as species that live indoors and out. The installation is made up of hybrid objects, existing beyond the use of furniture and intersecting with ecology, setting up a mise-en-scene.

Ciantar’s artistic research involves the relation between human beings and the spaces they live in, as well as the objects they use and how these can integrate with ecological systems.

Divided in three parts, this work involves two street installations consisting of furniture pieces that have been modified to serve as planters, as well as a soundscape created to enhance the experience playing sounds generated by plants devoloped with sound artist Jamie Barbara and video artist Jacob Saliba.

These works tie in beautifully with the street plants that are well cared for by residents. The artist’s wish is to create a conversation regarding the co-existence between the different types of life which are more in sync with natural processes whose street life is remembered as vibrant and warm.

This intervention reflects one of the nine curatorial thematics of fuse, Resilience. A palpable sense of community is characterised by vibrant streets, communal living and residences filled up to the brim. The kerrejja or residential units consisted of one or two rooms, which on average, housed around 12 family members per household. Functional spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms/ washrooms were often considered a commodity. They were generally located in communal areas such as staircases or even added onto balconies. The distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces blurred. The streets served as extensions to personal spaces, demonstrating the intimacy of a community.

The sense of ownership of these communities, which once gathered in these spaces, lingers among the remaining few residents who take a sense of pride, ownership and responsibility in the upkeep of streets where they interact. This is demonstrated by the cultivation of plants along the streets and general maintenance and decoration of their public spaces where the crowds once gathered.

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.