Reverse Nostalgia

Illustration instalation

How do we deal with loss of identity? Is it similar to loss of history? Remembering a past we never experienced is a fascinating type of nostalgia. Another form of remembering involves a desire to experience realities that have acquired different meanings over time. This is most common in the preservation of remains and particularly evident when dealing with historical buildings or other popular structures that have endured in Malta’s collective memory over time. All this is naturally magnified and amplified through social media sites like Facebook, where people’s voices and thoughts have found a means to engage with disappearance and permanence like never before.

In Reverse Nostalgia, an exhibition of new works developed from these ideas, contemporary artist Enriqué Tabone explores the fragile durability of outlining what is no longer there in a series of works juxtaposing her perception of the persistence of disappearing sights around the Maltese islands: from City Gate and the Royal Opera House in Valletta to the Azure Window in Gozo. Marking two years since the collapse of the world-famous coastal rock structure at Dwejra, this exhibition featured a reimagining of appropriated picture postcard images from yesteryear with a contemporary twist.

The clarity of the artist’s vision was shared in these five new works, which were also available as limited edition engravings, exclusively from The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre in Birkirkara, throughout the exhibition: 9 March – 4 April 2019.

Reverse Nostalgia was curated by Dr Toni Sant and supported by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation.