Valletta 2018’s largest contemporary art exhibition will be launched at the beginning of the European Capital of Culture year. The exhibition curated by international curator Maren Richter, consisting of an indoor exhibition as well as installations and interventions in public spaces, explores Malta’s relationship with its closest neighbour – the sea.

Richter said “I feel highly honoured to be able to contribute to the year of the European Capital of Culture in Malta, Valletta 2018. This is a significant opportunity to look deeper into the current state of the city, the region, the island and its communities with a new and fresh gaze towards history, present and future. The island and the sea have always been a source of inspiration across many domains to depict visionary thinking. To think of how to connect this fact fruitfully with contemporary art is a challenging and exciting mission.”

The exhibition includes work by international and Maltese artists and will have interventions in different sites, places and spaces around Valletta and across the islands. As curator for this large-scale exhibition, Richter will be bringing together these artists to interpret the sea as a connecting metaphor while also looking at geo-political and historical concepts within Maltese and Mediterranean contexts. These works will invite audiences to exchange ideas and to reimagine the concept of an island, by looking at paradoxes and connections in relation to the land and the sea.

Richter, an international curator based in Austria, was selected by a panel of jury members following an open call issued by the Valletta 2018 Foundation in March 2016. Richter is currently the project leader of the “Grammar or Urgencies” artistic research project in Vienna. She was the artistic director of REGIONALE12 – Biennial of Contemporary Art in Austria, and a project developer and curator for contemporary art for Linz 2009, European Capital of Culture. She has curated exhibition in various countries such as Taiwan, Germany, Belgium and South Africa.