Treacherous memories make moody photographs | Alexandra Pace

We speak to photographer Alexandra Pace about Tampered Evidence – her latest exhibition, running until July 20. Accompanied by a series of ‘fringe’ events, the exhibit will be hosted in the newly-minted exhibition space, ‘Blitz’, situated in St Lucy Street, Valletta.

‘Dream #5’ by Alexandra Pace: “Memory is a faculty that can be both uplifting and torturous.”
‘Dream #5’ by Alexandra Pace: “Memory is a faculty that can be both uplifting and torturous.”

What would you say makes BLITZ the ideal venue to host artistic and cultural events?

BLITZ is an ideal venue for a variety of activities, from exhibitions to workshops and more intimate theatre performances and gigs. It is also a venue that is not short of character and intimacy and I feel that upon entering any one of the spaces within BLITZ, it is like you have walked into the innermost thoughts of the artist. Moreover the separate rooms set on various floors makes it possible to host diverse exhibitions simultaneously. It also contributes to the gaping hole that needs to be filled in terms of repurposing disused Valletta buildings.

Apart from visual arts exhibitions, do you also envision it hosting other kinds of cultural activities?

There is no single formula for what happens at BLITZ. It was never intended to be exclusive to the visual arts and is open to ideas. In fact we are hoping to push this idea forward with the fringe events that will be happening around the Tampered Evidence exhibition, such as film screening, a workshop and an artist talk. I would like to extend this in the future to include music, academic and performance events.

Did you have the space and the overall 'brief' of the exhibition in mind before you set out taking the photos that feature in Tampered Evidence?

There are ways in which the space influenced the execution of the ideas I wanted to portray in this exhibition. The separate rooms contain individual collections that are still connected from room to room, possibly in subtle ways. Just like the relation of the rooms to the house, the individual collections are single parts that make up the whole.

What led you to categorise the exhibition the way you did?

The recurring themes of this exhibition are Time, Repetition and Dreams - three elements that are very closely linked to each other and to me personally. Moreover, the various parts of the work are based on the idea of memory and 're-membering'. It is for these reasons that I chose to name the exhibition Tampered Evidence: because of my difficulty in coming to terms with my own memories. Memory is a faculty that can be both uplifting and torturous - and very often, the line between what is a remembered and what your mind makes you believe can become blurry. I have a very ambiguous relationship with my past, and I often find myself wondering: did that really happen, or was I dreaming, or has this already happened before? These are the central preoccupations of Tampered Evidence, and I've tried to explore it in different ways, for example, the idea of revisiting places where certain things happened, or attempting to cheat time by 're-membering' a full-length movie but chopping it into five-second still-frame segments.

How would you say the photos featuring in this exhibition reflect where you are right now as an artist?

I feel that being an artist means being in a state of constant flux, of ongoing exposure to new ideas and being part of an 'industry' that is constantly evolving. I do also feel that this body of work resembles a journey, from one state of consciousness to the next, from my past to my present, and I feel that this aspect of the work does respect where I am right now with my artistic practice - constantly growing and evolving.

For more information on Tampered Evidence and to stay updated about future events at Blitz, log on to the venue's website. Tampered Evidence is supported by the Malta Arts Fund.