Vince Briffa and Liliana Fleri Soler are the two Maltese artists whom, together with Klitsa Antoniou and Theodoulos Gregoriou from Cyprus and Dimitris Alithinos and Eleni Panouklia from Greece, have set up an interactive collective exhibition titled From Arrival to Departure at the Larnaka International Airport to celebrate Cyprus’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“Visits always give pleasure – if not the arrival, the departure” goes a Portuguese proverb. Speaking to redwhite, Vince Briffa explained how his (Have a merry good journey!) is a work that acts as a small journey within the larger journey of travel, a small spin in the space-time dimension of an airport, a pace of transit in its own right.
To visit, to holiday, to immigrate, for work or pleasure, travelling to any destination requires passage through an airport lounge. You depart from one only to arrive at another, in a different place, and at a different time, in the space and time of an airport…
Briffa’s work invites users of the Larnaka International Departures Lounge to engage with the work on a physical level, through taking a spin on the merry-go-round and also through becoming a part of the many past journeys of other visitors in other countries. This can be done through looking at and reading postcards sent from all over the world to friends, relatives and loved ones.
The merry-go-round gives the traveller a metaphorical visit to other countries and the narratives shared by other people in their different pasts. It also acts as a playful break from their physical journey from one airport to another.