Earth Rituals

30 June – 29 July 2023
Opening Hours Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 1pm / 3pm – 7pm
Venue IAM Contemporary Art (39, Old Mint Street, Valletta Malta)

IAM Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Earth Rituals” by Victor Agius.

Victor Agius is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in sculpture, painting, video, performance and installation. He lives and works a few meters away from the pre-historic sites of the Ggantija Temples and the Xaghra Stone Circle (c. 3,600 B.C.). To elicit universal and existential themes, he looks for inspiration in the changes of its landscape. He roams the island for sites of construction and excavation, documents rituals, and collects earth, more specifically, clay. This is his prima materia, clay, rock, and the changing life in Gozo. The work he makes deals with our debt to the earth and its consumption for the spiritual, the ritual, and the quotidian. He is committed to present his research in its pure form, its materials and its meaning. It is what he calls, an archaeological approach to find matter without form.

For the last three years, Earth Rituals was packed in a crate and ready to ship. It was due for Italy in February 2020 and the artist, Victor Agius was invited to install it for the 61st edition of the Faenza Prize, a biennale organised by the International Museum of Ceramics in the same city. Everything was then held online due to the pandemic, artists were interviewed on the Museum’s platform for social media, and just as well, the artwork was published in a cataloque by Gli Ori. The work is now installed here, in the gallery of IAM CONTEMPORARY ART.
Thanks to the work of Victor Agius, both the Museo Internazionale della Ceramica in Faenza and the Museo Carlo Zauli Faenza, have endorsed this show in Valletta.
The exhibition here also includes a collection of recent sculptures in mixed media from 2023. These new pieces are made of concrete brick, old coal residue of both stone and lava, fossilised stones, and ceramic. Their fragments are used interchangeably and suggest an archaeology of the anthropocene. By means of a shamanic gesture, the artist Victor Agius intends to share his debt to Earth. He is driven by the raw and pure desire to look
for, find, and excavate red earth, terrarossa, and the studio-process of making ceramics and sculpture. His choices are a dialect of symbols, raw materials, and their politics. It is in this shamanic gesture of choice that the artist Victor Agius finds this primitive language, and gives shape to it in his rituals and installations. He aims to satisfy our ties between the material earth and the spiritual life. It is an unpaid debt to our life on earth, one that the artist Victor Agius honours by its pure, and raw form.

This work is installed here with a dedication to the communities of Faenza