The Journey – a performance by Rossella Biscotti

Photo: Alexandra Pace

PLO was responsible for the logistics and maritime engineering challenge brought by the operation of the carrying and the dropping of a 20-ton marble block at sea. The marble block is at the centre of an artistic performance by Rossella Biscotti entitled The Journey and produced in collaboration with Blitz Valletta, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels and Dream City Festival in Tunis.

Managed entirely by PLO’s dedicated team, a specialised wooden platform on rollers was built to drop the ponderous marble block at sea whilst achieving the specific artistic effect that Ms Biscotti had in mind. Soon after the marble block reached the seabed, the wooden structure was retrieved and brought back on deck. 

The Journey is a performance of a ship navigating a GPS content-related route inspired by time, history and current geopolitical data researched together with different experts and communities in an area of the Mediterranean Sea between Italy, Malta, Tunisia, Libya. The narrative is centred on the decision and consequences of dropping a 20-ton marble block awarded to the artist by the iconic Michelangelo quarry in Carrara, Italy, yet left untouched. In fact, Rossella Biscotti uses the block as a mechanism to unpack the political, economic and environmental layers of a complex body of water. The point of departure is the island of Malta, a country located in between Europe and Africa, and a collection of maps showing different information comprising data on shipwrecks, cabling, military checks, licenses for energy and oil companies in the deadliest migration route of the Mediterranean Sea. The Journey will become a layered sound composition that will be presented in 2022, exposing the politics of visibility and invisibility, off-shore exploration and exploitation.

Video: Lewis Baldacchino

Behind the scenes technical operation photos

Photos: Lewis Baldacchino