'When In Rome', street art performance, Valletta, Malta, 2011.

When in Rome

2011, a polyphonic site-intervention in Valletta, the world's smallest capital city

When In Rome has been developed in relation to the complexity of Malta’s history, to its life as a tourist destination, to its current role as a set for a diverse range of film productions and further still, as a staging post for political and military responses to conflict ridden countries in neighboring North Africa. The events took place in the form of a 3-day-long series of simultaneously performed actions that served to map the city’s streets in different ways.

Each of these actions were a re-enactment of a work made by another artist in a specific situation somewhere in the world over the last 40 years. When performed simultaneously, overlaid within the confines of Valletta’s city walls, these re-enactments added to this already complex place by creating a cacophonic site – a layered and complex space within which to consider a contemporary understanding of what might constitute the very notion of a place.

Centered around the work of the Mexican-based, Belgian artist Francis Alÿs – whose 1:1 mapping of cities  often take the form of low-key walks made with simple tools such as a block of ice, a leaking paint tin or a knotted flag – has come to represent an almost generic artistic response to urban space, When In Rome furthermore included a carefully chosen selection of related actions by artists such as Gabriel Orozco and David Hammons.

When In Rome with:

Benedikte Bjerre, Elisa Caldana, Oscar Carlson, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Rasmus Johannsen, Vytautas Jurevicius, Patrick Keaveney, Aki Nagasaka, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, Filippa-Linn Pettersson, Beto Shawafaty , John Skoog, Simon Starling, Franziska von Stenglin, Jol Thomson