In 1991 three authors, then acknowledged to be leading figures within Malta’s cultural scene, homed in on a selection of six modern artists five of whom, perhaps not by accident, were born in Valletta. The foreword to the publication, then written by Prof. Peter Serracino Inglott, underpins the relevance and significance of this book which he describes as ‘an awakening of an island community … out of a period of visual and spiritual stagnation.’
In spite of this milestone publication, and others that followed suit, Maltese modern art remains to date a by and large unwritten history. What survives is more often than not akin to memory understood as the selective remembering of a relatively recent past. Memory remains a bond, albeit in constant change, to be recalled or forgotten according to what circumstances dictate. By contrast, the representation of the past which is history becomes the reconstruction of what is no longer.
This exhibition seeks to feature dialogues between artists of different generations informed by the original selection of six modern artists proposed in 1991. The selection of works shall be put together in meaningful dialogues, each standing for a given narrative or facet. These works shall be in dialogue with interventions by contemporary artists in digital format to create an exhibition akin to an installation where all the elements converse and interact within one weave. By bridging the persona of the Maltese artist, oftentimes caught between memory and history, the project shall explore what is constant and what instead stands out as a difference within the memory landscape.
The dialectic between past and present, paradoxically juxtaposed across media, shall strive to achieve a constellation inspired by Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas where polarities are exposed and inferences underpinned across time. When read together as one experience, the constellation of displays and objects shall strive to propose new readings of art histories connecting present and past.
This exhibition is curated by Sandro Debono and Irene Biolchini and will be taking place between the 6th September and 4th November 2018 at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta.
List of featured artists in this exhibition:
Carmelo Mangion, Darren Tanti, Patrick Dalli, Esprit Barthet, Pierre Portelli, Harry Alden, Anton Agius, Gabriel Caruana, Victor Agius, Josef Kalleya, Austin Camilleri, Vincent Apap, George Preca, Emvin Cremona, Alfred Chircop, Norbert Attard, Antoine Camilleri, Isabelle Borg, Vince Briffa, Frank Portelli, Raymond Pitrè, George Fenech and Ruth Bianco.