Why maltabiennale.art should be on your calendar

Offering 11 full weeks of art exhibitions accompanied by a diverse range of activities, the Malta Biennale aims to engage a broad audience.

As a new week approaches, marking the advent of the much-anticipated maltabiennale.art, the international contemporary art festival is the result of months of detailed planning.

Organised primarily by Heritage Malta, alongside various cultural and private entities, the festival is distinguished further by the auspices of the President of Malta, symbolising the collective efforts at a national level by Heritage Malta and its partners.

Adding to its unique prestige is the patronage of UNESCO, a testament to the maltabiennale.art’s alignment with global cultural and educational goals, especially notable as it is the only biennale worldwide to receive such support.

The call for artistic proposals, launched in November 2022, saw an overwhelming response, with over 2,500 submissions from 118 countries, showcasing the global interest and anticipation for this inaugural event.

This inaugural Maltese Biennale distinguishes itself by incorporating contemporary art within Heritage Malta’s historical sites, creating a fusion of different eras that has drawn the attention and deeper involvement of UNESCO.

The chosen timing for the event, set to officially open its doors on Wednesday with previews starting on Monday, has been strategically selected. These previews will welcome distinguished guests and artists from various countries, providing a serene environment for them to explore the artwork.

The festival is already attracting international journalists keen on covering this landmark event, which will run until the end of May. Offering 11 full weeks of art exhibitions accompanied by a diverse range of activities, the maltabiennale.art aims to engage a broad audience.

The period between March and May has been identified as ideal, targeting year-round tourism and capitalising on the shoulder season leading into the peak summer months. This strategy is designed to attract quality tourists while also encouraging locals to appreciate and preserve Malta’s cultural heritage.

Spring’s arrival brings with it longer days, milder weather, and a vibrant palette of colors across the Maltese landscape, further enriching the maltabiennale.art experience. The timing also coincides with significant religious traditions of Lent and Easter, imbuing the islands with a unique atmosphere that transitions into the festive season, showcasing the rich cultural tapestry of Malta.

The maltabiennale.art is not just an art festival; it embodies a broad spectrum of goals and concepts. By hosting contemporary art in Heritage Malta’s historical sites, the event fosters a dialogue between the past and present, demonstrating that history, far from being static, gains new life and relevance when connected with contemporary narratives. This integration of history and contemporary art invites participants to engage with and reconsider their perceptions, highlighting the maltabiennale.art’s role in fostering a deeper understanding of culture and identity.

Open to public participation, the maltabiennale.art invites everyone to explore the heritage sites and partake in the array of activities scheduled throughout the event. At the heart of the maltabiennale.art are the artists, whose contributions are vital to the festival’s soul.

Almost on the eve of this event, Heritage Malta’s Executive Chairman, Mario Cutajar, shared his reflections.  

“After months of diligent preparation, we are as eager as the public, who is expressing eagerness to discover what this maltabiennale.art entails and what this international contemporary art festival has to offer.

This form of art might appear unconventional, as it transcends traditional mediums like brushes and rollers, employing a variety of objects to bring a concept or idea to life.

Heritage Malta’s Executive Chairman, Mario Cutajar

This divergence from the familiar might seem strange at first glance, but it’s a reflection of how contemporary art is merely an evolution of art’s entire history. Since the days of Da Vinci, technology has always been intertwined with art. Similarly, the fusion of politics and art is not a novel concept, as art has frequently been used to communicate political messages throughout history. Therefore, the incorporation of everyday technology and objects by artists shouldn’t be alarming, but seen as a way to relate to familiar aspects of our daily lives.

Contemporary art challenges us to reflect on our surroundings, often bringing attention to issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. It serves to communicate messages that should resonate with as many individuals as possible, distinguishing art that simply exists from art that raises awareness about pressing societal issues and our fast-paced lives.

The intention behind this maltabiennale.art is to extract the utmost value from it, a goal that was meticulously planned and passionately executed by the team at Heritage Malta. This festival is not a spur-of-the-moment decision but the culmination of 20 years of dedicated stewardship of Malta’s heritage by Heritage Malta. It aims to broaden our horizons, deepen our understanding of ourselves, our country, and our culture.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of maltabiennale.art, a testament to Heritage Malta’s commitment and a gift to the people who have entrusted it with preserving their heritage.”

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