Speaking at the press conference, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici said that “this year’s participation at the Venice Biennale continues to strengthen Malta’s vision of internationalisation of art and culture, bringing into fruition an essential aspect of the strategy entrusted to Arts Council Malta in 2015 by the Ministry. A strategy that aims to actively encourage and promote the cultural and creative sectors within a wide perspective of socio-economic activity both on a national and international level.”
The Venice Art Biennale is one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, and Malta will once again be participating with its own pavilion during the 58th edition of this international art exhibition.
The artists Klitsa Antoniou, Trevor Borg and Vince Briffa will represent Malta at the Biennale Arte 2019 in the exhibition ‘Maleth/ Haven/ Port- Heterotopias of Evocation’.
The Malta Pavilion, commissioned by Arts Council Malta and curated by historian Dr Hesperia Iliadou-Suppiej, is inspired by the Odyssey, one of humanity’s oldest stories. Forming part of the team are Architect Matthew Casha and Production Manager George Lazoglou.
The exhibition will verge between reality and fictitious invention, to provide a contemporary and immersive re-interpretation of our timeless need of seeking a haven (Maleth), most strongly experienced in times of crisis.
The Phoenician word maleth evokes the primeval origins of Malta’s existence and literally translates to haven/port, a quality inspired in all who traversed the waters of the Mediterranean through the ages and that still holds true today.
Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall said that, “Arts Council Malta is delighted that artists Klitsa Antoniou, Trevor Borg, and Vince Briffa will represent Malta at the 58th International Art Exhibition in Venice, under the curatorial lead of historian Dr Hesperia Iliadou- Suppiej. The exhibition will look at Malta’s unique position within central Mediterranean culture from historical, mythical, and contemporaneous viewpoints with newly commissioned works that promise to be a curiosity-driven voyage of discovery and self-reflection.”
ACM is fully committed to a Europe that is not only an economic project but a Europe where culture has become a vital aspect of the Union’s strategies concerning integration and cultural identity: Malta’s cultural sector, like in all the rest of the EU Member States, is working to respond to the present challenges of a constantly evolving environment impacted by the new media, changing audiences, globalisation, new technology, and AI amongst others.
This year ACM, together with the artists, are taking it even further by delivering workshops to students in Malta and Cyprus which are supported by Bank of Valletta.
The Malta Pavilion is supported by Bank of Valletta, Visit Malta – Ministry of Tourism, Sullivan Maritime and Grimaldi Group. The artists are being supported by Heritage Malta, Malta Film Studios, the Department of digital arts and industrial manufacturing and engineering at the University of Malta, and the Omega TV Channel Cyprus.
Press release by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government