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Gesture Objects  | Is-sejba u t-tħalija tat-traċċi 

solo exhibition, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, Malta, 2023

in the context of AiR Spazju Kreattiv in collaboration with the Valletta Design Cluster, Valletta Cultural Agency and the Ministry for Gozo

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installation view Gesture Objects
latex, aluminium, soap, plant,  servey trolley, aluminium bowl, Valletta 2023
pictures: Hayley Bonnici

Gesture Objects | Is-sejba u t-tħalija tat-traċċi 

An artist-in-residence is a traveller. Making a site-specific work in a short time can quickly become a colonial act. With her research-based work Gesture Objects, the artist Tanja Hamester tries to resort to anti-colonial strategies. She focuses on listening and collecting stories without appropriating them. 

Hamester´s investigation starts in the souvenir shop. The artist created imprinted patterns of souvenirs that are poured out in soap. 

The inspiration to work with soap came from a workshop with locals about historical collective practices wherein the act of communal washing practice was discussed. Hamester decided to work with soap, along with liquid latex, to create her Gesture Objects in Malta. 

In these impression collages, the errors of the anachronism of souvenir objects are taken to absurdity.


Souvenirs represent a special moment of the past which seems to be representative of a tourist destination. Souvenirs show what should be visible to the outside world, but uncomfortable and harmful facts from the past remain invisible.

During her stay, the artist asked people residents in Malta to lend their objects that represent the “invisible” about Malta. These invisible objects are imprinted in latex and are part of the display that presents the soaps.

The Invitation:

The artist invites exhibition visitors to wash their hands with the soap on display. Visitors decide for themselves whether and how they intervene in the form of soap sculptures, whether they change the surface or whether the surface remains as it is. Unlike the souvenir soaps, the latex collages remain intact and visible.


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