MALTA AS METAPHOR, video installation by  Myriam Thyes, 2008

The video installation - variation with backlight projection in large space

video installation

Malta - a psychosocial magnifying glass: A visual and acoustic presentation of Malta as a metaphor for Europe - images for an internalised history and its parallels today. The panoramic views in the octagon function as 'inner' spaces and can also appear as false / artificial places – virtual memory spaces.

video DV Pal, 20:45, stereo, loop. 8 channel video installation (4 different video sources, each used twice)

The space: an octagon

A closed octagon made up of 8 black partitions / walls and 8 video screens in which the viewers can enter through a door or a curtain.
Size of each of the 8 walls: c. 3m wide and 3m high (at least).
Dimensions of octagon: external diameter c. 7.5 m, interior c. 7 m (at least).

In each of the 7 complete walls is a “window” for a backlit projection screen of 280 x 210 cm (at least).
The 8th wall with the door or curtain has a film for frontal projection on the interior.
Bottom edge of screen: 60 cm above the floor.

The 8 video channels are a row of 4 different videos, repeated once; together they build fictitious “panoramas”.


8 video projectors, of which one is hung beneath the ceiling inside the octagon.
7 projectors will be positioned outside the octagon to avoid shadows cast by viewers and stray light.
4 synchronized CF-card media-players (each feeding 2 projectors), connected to the beamers with DVi or VGA cables.
4 loudspeakers (2 x stereo).

The seven outer projectors may hang beneath the ceiling or stand on the floor. The 8th beamer, inside the installation, has to hang from the ceiling.
The space around the octagon must not be visible or accessible for visitors.
Total space requirement (darkened / closed off): a maximum of 17 m x 15 m (wide-angle lenses for the 7 external projectors reduce the space requirement).

Rationale for the closed octagon

The images should “crowd in” on the viewers, simultaneously showing perspectives and expressing confinement. Being closed in fits with the life experience and view of the world which Catholicism offers/offered or imposed on its adherents. The viewer experiences something of the situation of the “illegal” immigrant in the reception prisons and within the tight network of controls on Malta and in other places in Europe. Living in Europe, we still feel ourselves to be - in relation to events in other parts of the world - reasonably secure and protected, like being in a defensive castle.

> Installation with frontal projections from inside the octagon


Alternative: simple installation with 4 projections

einfache installation