Giulia Privitelli, curator of Debbie Caruana Dingli’s upcoming exhibition titled ‘Nothing Really Matters’, speaks to ARTZ ID about the show and the artist’s way of bringing her burning questions into being. ‘Nothing Really Matters’ is hosted by Spazju Kreattiv as part of the 2020/21 artistic programme.
What is the concept behind the upcoming exhibition?
I’m not quite sure I would call it a “concept”. What lies behind Debbie’s new series of works is, really, a set of several unanswered questions elicited from a passing comment in some news article about a hit-and-run incident. The article mentions the reaction of the (anonymous) mother of the convicted. At that point, it wasn’t a concept that came to Debbie’s mind but questions, burning questions about loss and pain and freedom and motherhood and childhood and life; they are personal questions she’d have wanted to ask this mother and the many others like her who hardly ever get more than a cursory mention in the papers. They are questions she knew she’d never get an answer to. So, as she would typically do to deal with restless ideas, she gave these questions a “voice”: paintings. As it turns out, these painted questions were never really meant for anyone in particular and for everyone at the same time. They’re directed at us now; we’re the witnesses. The whole point, as it is when someone asks a question, is to get the other to think and eventually to draw out some kind of response. Or, perhaps, none at all.