Los Territorios Sonados (the dreamed territories)

Grand Harbour Series

Following the creation of Los Territorios Sonados (the dreamed territories) show at Valletta Contemporary, Carlos Coronas super-imposed his visual language composed of geometric shapes used to symbolize dreams and expectations onto blurred images of the Grand Harbor of Malta, a place known for nesting asylum seekers. In order to understand the dialogue brought forth through twenty-four of these instances, one needs to contemplate upon the use of light and form which compose the luminous bodies.

 

Drawing inspiration from patterns drawn by fireflies to attract potential mates, Coronas has given his structures the weapon of light-seduction which correspond to these patterns. The brilliance of these structures extends an invasive and transforming quality into the space they interact with by virtue of their scale and subtle transitions of intense neon light, which, changing colour back and forth as they emanate a rhythm of breathing, convey a sense of movement. This movement remains constant with the way we are inclined to walk around the structures, watching their shapes as we shift our bodies and perceive different angles around changing light intensities.

 

By incorporating Valletta’s Grand Harbour into his work, Coronas displays his personal vision of our much-discussed capital city, especially the transitional quality to its location which has welcomed people from all walks of life throughout the centuries. At the same time, these photos of our Grand Harbor are not presented clearly for us to watch and admire, they are obstructed by deliberate blurring, close-ups, flipping, mirroring and intense grain, as though Coronas has successfully gone out of his way to disrupt legibility and our clear route to understanding these photographs. What remains clear and visually potent is attractive colour and repetition of the aforementioned geometric shapes, framing a new landscape tainted with romantic or hopeful expectation. 

 

It becomes evident that perception is a running theme and binding component across the visual and immersive work hosted at Valletta Contemporary. Coronas makes a statement related to our emotional response and anticipation of a place as perceived from a distance, calling attention to the many possibilities we may come to imagine.

 

With this in mind, the body of work can serve to trigger a response often taken for granted, that is, to question the extent to which perception is affected by our expectation, assumptions, and beliefs, and thus may bring attention to a certain moral duty to examine the way our thoughts are moulded by what we see and think we know.

Joanna Portelli 
Valletta Contemporary

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