Originally an exhibition showing Catholic and religious art, today the APS Mdina Biennale welcomes both local and international artists with participants from various countries including: Malta, France, Israel, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Austria, USA, Russia, UK, Australia, Italy, Serbia, Lebanon, Jordan, Poland, Latvia, Georgia, and Lithuania.
APS Mdina Biennale will focus on Mediterranean spirituality
Now in its second running under the artistic direction of Dr Schembri Bonaci, the event will be held at the Mdina Cathedral Museum. Unlike the previous Art Biennale 2015-2016, this year’s exhibition will be presented in a single space, within the 17th century baroque walls of the Silent City’s Cathedral Museum, merging Malta’s history, culture, and traditions with contemporary works by local and international artists.
With the APS Contemporary Art Mdina Biennale almost at its mid-point, now is the time for reflection rather than propagation. As repeated, by myself and my colleague Nikki Petroni, this Biennale has been on-going for a number of years, with it being resuscitated under the careful and impassioned hands of Dr Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci three years ago.
The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale is a project that has developed over the course of two decades. From a modest exhibition focusing on Catholic-inspired art, it has been transformed into a large-scale international event that questions the role of art today and its communication with art from previous eras. Nikki Petroni speaks with artistic director Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci about the philosophy behind the APS Mdina Biennale and his thoughts on contemporary art.
Abstracting the Mediterranean: Fluidity and the politics of space
Our sea has been the central source of inspiration to the artists of the 2017 APS Mdina Biennale. ‘The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualities’, the theme of this year’s exhibition, was chosen by Artistic Director Dr. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci to incite debate on the contemporary contentions surrounding Maltese waters. The three artists discussed here reveal the unbounded ends of contemporary art in spite of overlapping approaches to visual utterance. This is at the core of the project’s objective; to explore the contemporary in relation to the traditional and the art of the past, exposing audiences to new aesthetic routes that speak for and about us today.
Politics is an everyday facet of our lives. It dictates our way of present and most importantly our future. Wit and strength combined, the Mdina Biennale continuously sharpens its ideology and message, to include as many forms and expressions as possible, whilst keeping aesthetic quality in mind. This year’s theme will focus on the Mediterranean Sea as a space of conflicting spiritualties, ideologies, doctrines and philosophies. With a repertoire of local and international artists, all focusing on the theme ‘The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualties’, different resolutions will emerge to this motif.
Regarding this year’s Mdina Biennale edition, Tanti chose a loftier venue – one of the grand salons in the upper floor. Recently remodelled and reopened, Tanti’s work will brush shoulders with several giants of the Maltese Baroque age, such as Mattia Preti, Antoine Favray and Mario Minniti.
This year’s theme centres on ‘The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualties’. Harkening back to the aforementioned Baroque spirit, the same conflict of spirituality, purpose and identity was felt in post-Tridentine Europe. The same can be applied to contemporary times. With news of great cataclysmic episodes, belligerent episodes and terror bombarding our news channels, feeds and social media constantly, the idea of the idyllic sea-lake of the Mediterranean should be questioned as well.
...Malta’s cultural development is also the result of the enduring and hard work of a series of people who have vision, who have endless energy and a genuine love for art. Malta, as she said , “is a very dense place. Malta is a bit like a small fruit but the taste is excellent.’’
This years’ theme for the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2017 centres on the Mediterranean as a theatre of conflict and change. With news bombarding us non-stop of conflict and strife happening on both sides of the world, be it physical, environmental, emotional, societal or intellectual, our present has become shaped by discord. It is through art that one can become acquainted yet mollified at the atrocities of life. Art expresses itself and the world around it through tempered fulcrums and altered realities.
One of the country’s most important cultural and historical monuments is set for an upgrade as the first phase of an extensive multimedia project is unveiled at the Mdina Cathedral, Museum and Archives.
Arists to showcase contemporary works in upcoming APS Mdina Biennale
A series of artistically-charged events, which will be running from November until January 2018, will bring the Silent City to life as most of them will take place at the historic 18thcentury Cathedral Museum in Mdina.
Artists to showcase contemporary works in upcomin APS Mdina Biennale
The APS Mdina Biennale – Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale will return this November under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci after an agreement was reached between APS Bank and the Mdina Cathedral Chapter.
Space matters differently to different people. It has been, for perhaps most of philosophical history, an aspect of discussion and thought. Applying a Lefebvrian strain of thought, space can be essentially divided into the three aforementioned aspects: the physical, the mental, and the societal.
APS Mdina Biennale 2017: Arti Kontemporanja fl-Imdina
Il-kelma “Biennale” mhijiex kelma popolari ma’ ħafna nies li mhux intiżi fl-arti iżda għall-kuntrarju, hija avveniment importanti għal dawk l-artisti li huma midħla sew tal-arti kontemporanja. Il-kelma Taljana biennale saret popolari mad-dinja tal-arti permezz tal-“Biennale di Venezia” li saret għall-ewwel darba fl- 1895. Il-Biennale artistika ġġib flimkien numru ta’ artisti minn diversi pajjiżi u għalhekk reliġjonijiet u kulturi differenti, fejn kull artist jiltaqa’ ma’ esperjenzi artistiċi ta’ kull tip.
The Mdina Cathedral APS Contemporary Art Biennale returns once again this year under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci. This event will discuss the spiritual crisis currently taking over the Mediterranean.
The theme that will be challenged and interpreted with new and innovative works of art from several renowed Maltese and international artists is ‘The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualities’.
The church, art and financial patronage have for long been inextricably linked together. Within this article, one will attempt to explore the intricacies of this propitious dialogue between patronage, pilgrimage and profit, exemplified through the contemporary works presented to the 2015 Mdina Biennale by Richard Shields.
The Maltese artist Giuseppe Galea is arguably one of Malta's finest decorators as can be demonstrated by his impressive portfolio. Today he is known for his various works for churches such as those at the church of Ta' Giesu in Rabat, a medal produced for St Pauls Grotto in Rabat to commemorate a Papal visit, as well as the decoration of the Casino Maltese...That aspect of the artist's oeuvre which is tendentiously ignored will be exhibited as a prelude to The Mdina Cathedral APS Contemporary Art Biennale 2017 in October.
Held within the medieval-cum-baroque precincts of Malta's oldest capital city, this year's edition will reinterpret last year's success by focusing solely on one single space - the Cathedral Museum and its magnificent baroque halls. While the artwork in of itself is a prime document, so is the space within which it inhabits. Museums function as a sort of repository of culture, identity and history, with many works of art being transported from their original location to be housed within well-tempered, well-maintained halls, for the enjoyment and studious scrutiny of many. This dislocation of art is at the same time essential as well as terrific.
Mdina Cathedral Museum: renovation and restoration
The Mdina Cathedral Museum will be playing a very important role in The Mdina Cathedral APS Contemporary Art Biennale this year as it is going to be the sole location used for the international contemporary art exhibition...The space will be a perfect setting for artists to explore the present theme; The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualities. The museum itself historically defines what a spiritual Mediterranean encompasses and looks like. More significantly, it is also a welcome space for contemporary interpretations of Mediterranean identity.
The Mediterranean and spirituality: contemporary art in Mdina
The Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2017-18 will be an opportunity for critique and self-reflection, for artists to discuss those questions which are affecting our lives presently, and for the strength of artistic international exchange to be pronounced here in Malta.