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[WATCH] ‘Sounding off’ on the Republic

Artist Pierre Portelli caps off his installation series commemorating this year's national festivities with a giant megaphone at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta. 

Teodor Reljic
11 December 2014, 1:59pm
Pierre Portelli's rePUBBLIKA will remain at Pjazza Teatru Rjal over the next four weeks (Photo and video by Ray Attard)
Pierre Portelli's rePUBBLIKA will remain at Pjazza Teatru Rjal over the next four weeks (Photo and video by Ray Attard)
Pierre Portelli on his latest installation rePubblika
A giant megaphone will remain perched at the Teatru Rjal over the next four weeks, with passers-by having the opportunity to shout out anything they like until 9pm each day.

The installation, titled rePUBBLIKA and launched earlier today, was designed by artist Pierre Portelli as the final piece out of four – all of which fell under the umbrella of the plethora of national festivities held this year, and organised by Fondazzjoni Celebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali (FCN).

As in the three previous works – ‘Seasharp’ in Birgu, ‘Gateway’ and ‘#settembru64’ in Valletta – rePUBBLIKA celebrates the role of the citizen as the main protagonist in the democratic process of the Nation State. This is reflected in the use of sound and voice as the projection of democratic process and participation.

Portelli said that while the previous installations all had sound as a prominent feature, rePUBBLIKA in particular “expresses this more literally” since it “gives voice to the people” by allowing them to say whatever they want to say through the giant megaphone.

The installation is rendered in a raw steel finish mirroring “both strength and the notion of a work-in-progress”.  

“This is a metaphor for a Republic founded on sound democratic principles that like a work in progress, may need fine tuning and polishing in order to achieve and maintain its aspirations,” Portelli said.

Minister for Culture Owen Bonnici observed that the piece, just like Austin Camilleri’s contentious ‘Zieme’ is strategically positioned to direct its ‘gaze’ at Parliament.

“Both pieces send a message to the political class. The way I interpret what they are trying to say is: we need politicians to hear our voices.”

rePUBBLIKA will remain on display for four weeks. The installation is supported FCN and Pjazza Teatru Rjal.

Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...
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