Published on Monday 20 May 2019

Arts Council Malta is proud to announce that Professor Vince Briffa, one of the three artists exhibiting at the Malta Pavilion for the 58th Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, has received the prestigious Omaggio all’Arte ed all’Innovazione a Venezia 2019

The honour, which is jointly awarded by The Union of Honorary Consuls of Italy (UCOI) and the National Association of Young Innovators (ANGI), was awarded to Professor Briffa in a ceremony held this morning at Palazzo Sandi in Venice’s Sestiere San Marco.

The Tribute to Art and Innovation at Venice 2019 recognises works of distinction in the creative arts, as part of the role of Honorary Consulates in fostering cultural exchange at a moment when the city of Venice, by means of its Biennale, takes the lead in showcasing the best of creative expression to the world.

Titled Outland, Vince Briffa’s installation at the Malta Pavilion is a multi-screen projection that focusses on the indecisiveness of humans as they long to retrace their way to the ultimate Haven, caught between the safety of an island and the peril of the crossing and return to their homeland. 

Outland takes its inspiration from the myth of Calypso and Ulysses in Homer’s The Odyssey. Briffa’s projection uses contemporary imagery and aural effects to trace the symbolic duality of the lover as saviour/oppressor, exploring the uncertainty and lure of safety, and the longing for freedom. 

 The distinction awarded to Professor Briffa is yet another feather in the Malta Pavilion’s cap for the 2019 Venice Biennale. The work of our three exhibiting artists, Trevor Borg, Klitsa Antoniou and Vince Briffa has drawn the acclaim of some of the world’s leading art magazines. These include Frieze, FAD Magazine and Aesthetica Magazine, both placing Malta in their top ten choices. Christie’s Magazine placed Malta among its exclusive Pick of the Pavilions list.

 The Malta Pavilion’s performance at the Venice Biennale 2019 has raised expectations for Malta as a world-class player on the international contemporary art scene. While Vince Briffa’s work is yet another step in this direction, Arts Council Malta is determined to further open up the international field for our creatives to make their mark at world level.