Kris Van Dessel


Referring to the work THE MALTA EXPERIENCE, May 2015, Valletta, Malta.

An aluminum ruler with a length of 58 cm has been engraved with the words “THE MALTA EXPERIENCE 1:500.000". These 58 cm correspond to the shortest distance between Africa and Malta on the scale 1:500,000. During the event people were invited to bring a piece of wood which measured exactly 58cm in length. Using the aluminum ruler for reference, Kris Van Dessel checked the length of the pieces of wood. If the length matched, the owner of the piece of wood received stamped certificate (rubber stamp with the words “THE MALTA EXPERIENCE 1:500.000") and a postcard. On the back side of the postcard has been printed a photo that was captured from an online travel brochure, promoting Tunisia as a holiday destination (*). On the front side has been printed the words “THE MALTA EXPERIENCE 1:500.000". 19 pieces of wood became part of a series of free artworks referring to the distance that refugees passing through northern Africa must cross to reach Malta in miserable wooden boats.

(*) The postcard has been printed on aluminum as a unfortunate footnote for the fact that, one year later, the flow of refugees still remains a daily reality. May, 2016