The exhibition Decadence, Now. launches at the Malta Society of Arts on May 11 at the Malta Society of Arts, showcasing artworks, objects, music and paraphernalia from the Decadent art movement from 1880 to 1910.
The project claims, to a great extent, that the critical study of decadence should not be confined to its traditional association with morbidity, a cult of artificiality, exoticism and aestheticism. Although these topics dominate the thematic texture of the decadent movement, as well as its lasting influence upon twentieth-century culture, they also continue to fuel a whole new wave of contemporary decadentism in visual culture.
Decadence, Now. looks to the curatorial as an art method in and of itself, with the exhibition becoming the ultimate art object. In doing so it seeks to reposition artefacts, reconstruct narratives and reopen artistic debates; creating a friction and a presence that is expressed by a number of individuals investigating a common theme.
The significance of fragments – of objects, people, places and ideas – is that they persist beyond their time or context. Through processes applied to these fragments, there is a reemergence that allows them to shed their relevance to take on new meaning and enthuse novel ideas.
The exhibition runs until May 31 and admission is free. The exhibition is curated by Andrew Borg Wirth. Reacting artists include Andrew Borg Wirth, Luke Azzopardi, Michael Zerafa and Maria Theuma.