25 September – 13 November 2021
Curated by Elyse Tonna
Eye Drawing Passport (2021) & rajt ma rajtx... naf li rajt event poster
Matthew Attard - rajt ma rajtx... naf li rajt
rajt ma rajtx … naf li rajt
I/you saw, but I/you did not see... I know that I/you saw
Deriving from a local oral tradition the title hints at taking on a playful yet critical approach to interpreting socio-political contexts. Whilst in Maltese, the original phrase: rajt ma rajtx … smajt ma smajtx (I/you saw but I/you did not see … I/you heard but I/you did not hear) instils a code of silence behaviour commonly known as omertà, it also subtly hints at the complacency of individuals to act or react to ongoing happenings. Albeit slight, the intentional modification to the phrase makes a direct reference to Matthew’s dialogue with an eye-tracker in their intention of drawing with the eyes. This also acknowledges that the eyes are involuntarily witnesses of any occurrence. Moreover, the exhibition reinforces a fictitious technosymbiosis characterisation through a creative practice that links the eye-tracker to modes of contemporary drawing.
Acting as a tool, but moreover as a silent witness of the eye, here the eye-tracker brings to the forefront widespread local realities bound with ongoing complexities related to identity and context. The ultimate underlying notion of the exhibition is that of continuing with the exploration of eye drawing where the eye-tracker becomes the drawing equipment/collaborator, while uncovering notions of witnessing and seeing. Acting as a means of surveillance, the eye-tracker, the entity/the technology, offers undeniable proof of experience.
The exhibition will feature a number of site-specific interventions stemming from eye drawing performances manifested in particular contexts: ranging from mundane realities to unique locations. On the basis of a subjective intuition, the viewers are encouraged to interpret, question and debate through notions of seeing.
Other artists are being invited to contribute with supporting works reinforcing multiple points of view. These include: Caesar Attard, Nanni Balestrini, Aaron Bezzina, Matyou Galea, Francesco Jodice and Pierre Portelli.
Born in Malta and currently living in Edinburgh. He is pursuing his eye drawing research as a practice-based PhD at the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, funded by the Malta Arts Scholarship scheme - Ministry for Education, and Employment.
Matthew is strongly interested in situating his work within the realm of contemporary drawing. His interests include: the extension of the line within 3D spaces, the phenomenology of perception, datafication, drawing as a cyborg in dialogue with technology, the challenging of the use of data and technology, and provocations about how we represent ourselves in this day and age.
In 2018 he obtained his Masters degree from the Digital Arts Department, University of Malta, where he had started exploring the possibilities of using an eye-tracker as a drawing medium.
In 2009 he moved to Venice and collaborated with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the USA Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Matthew is now represented by Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice.
His work has been shown in Venice, Rome, Valletta, Genoa, London, Beijing and Los Angeles among other cities. In 2014, Galleria Michela Rizzo invited him for the bi-personal show In Between/Viewpoints with artist Rashad Alakbarov. In 2017 he was selected for the 3rd edition of the Le Latitudini dell’Arte Biennale, which took place at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. In 2018 he was awarded the Under 30 Euromobil prize at ArteFiera, Bologna.
In 2019 he was selected for a third time to exhibit during Ten Artists to Watch at LACDA, Los Angeles Centre for Digital Arts. During the same year, he was also present during the collective show Soglie e Limiti, curated by Elena Forin at Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice. In 2019 he was selected by Ilaria Bonacossa to participate in Artissima Telephone at the OGR spaces in Turin, taking place during the Artissima Art Fair. He was also part of the https://reindex.galleriamichelarizzo.net/ online project.
Matthew is currently longlisted for the Lumen Prize 2021.
For a list of selected exhibitions please visit: https://matthewattard.com/about/
Matthew’s current PhD research is funded by: