Amygdala, Kim Sammut

12 January – 9 February, 2023
Curated by Sara Dolfi Agostini

KIM SAMMUT is the recipient of Blitz Valletta’s competitive Open Call for a Malta-based emerging artist launched in 2022. As the chosen artist, Kim Sammut was granted the opportunity to present a new project produced and exhibited by Blitz. This initiative is intended to give the successful applicant a curated platform to express themselves, an occasion to work one-to-one with an international curator on a new commission and improve their professional skills while promoting their artistic practice, while Blitz acts as a host institution, a mentor and partner.

KIM SAMMUT (1997) is a Maltese artist employing drawing, photography and video. The bidimensional reality she creates offers a glimpse into what it means today for a young woman, an artist, to tell a story of emancipation – one that has its loopholes and crossroads, at a time marred by fractures in politics and civil society, new wars near and far, climate change and an all-encompassing sense of fragility. Contrary to the generation of artists that preceded her, for whom the internet was often both subject and platform, Sammut focuses on real bodies and things. Her work is an attempt at visualizing the existential gap between inner and outer worlds in order to explore the ephemeral sense of self, cognitive and sensorial disorientation, resistance and eventual drift – all intensified by the rise of the virtual self.

AMYGDALA, the title of her first institutional solo exhibition, takes its inspiration from the region of the brain that receives inputs from all senses and processes emotions. As the primary interpreter of images and sounds, the amygdala can trigger a survival mechanism, known as the “fight-or-flight” response, in order to react quickly to life-threatening situations. At Blitz Valletta, Amygdala is an intimate collective self-portrait delving into the quest for identity of young adults living out of sync with a commodified present which leaves no space for self-expression beyond money-making products. It is a present that Sammut keeps off-stage – the human body and its surroundings are stripped off all socio-cultural references except for a few clues – and yet we can feel its unsettling presence outside of the frame. To protect the bare self, Sammut conceived a shrine-like space, disconnected from the hectic life of the capital city. Behind a heavy curtain, the visitor is invited to enter a dark room illuminated by spotlights, as if they were stars pinpointing a piece of a personal universe. The exhibition includes four artworks, all never seen before – a drawing, two photographs and a video installation.

12.01.23 – 09.02.23
Wednesday to Friday, 2pm to 5pm
Saturday 10am to 1pm
Sunday to Tuesday, closed