Left: Edith Devaney, contemporary curator and head of the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Right: Jumpstart: An Incomplete Timeline.

Introducing the MICAS Summer Celebration

10th June 2019

MICAS will be launching its first Summer Celebration in Valletta on the 21st of June. In close collaboration with the Valletta Cultural Agency and supported by Heritage Malta and Spazju Kreattiv, the event will feature an art talk, a curated visual timeline projection of Maltese modern & contemporary art, and a celebratory party with music. MICAS’ remit looks at the validation of contemporary art in Malta and the recognition of artists’ contribution to the development of the local contemporary idiom. It also seeks to raise awareness and create a platform for the critical discussion and documentation of contemporary art practice in Malta.

Documenting the work of artists and their practice is important for critical analysis and understanding. Artists may or may not document and archive their work. Should they even focus on documenting their practice or should they just get on with making art? How important is it that such material becomes accessible to researchers and students?

Seeking to explore this issue, the evening starts off with a MICAS Art talk at MUŻA by Edith Devaney, contemporary curator and head of the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, who will be discussing the importance of the personal archives of practicing artists with examples from her own curatorial and research experience.

MICAS will further the discussion on the asynchronous development of the contemporary idiom in Malta through the showcasing of a visual timeline/mapped piece, co-curated by Katya Micallef and Georgina Portelli. Jumpstart: An Incomplete Timeline celebrates Malta’s artists as meaning makers, movers and shakers.

Jumpstart: An Incomplete Timeline employs a comparative methodology that juxtaposes significant national and world events with national art events in close conversation with the physical fabric of Valletta’s walls, facades and open spaces. The work presents a tentative but incomplete timeline for Maltese modern and contemporary art, taking Malta’s first ever participation at the 1958 Venice Biennale as the starting point, and meandering, through the modernist pre and post-independence years, towards the palpable shift in practice post-1989. The aim behind this event is to instigate a lively debate on the evolution of the contemporary idiom in Malta, its tendencies, relational emphasis, concerns and new technologies.

Still a work in progress and by no means a canon, the incomplete timeline extends to Malta’s penultimate appearance at the Venice Biennale, in May 2017. The work is the result of a collaborative process with Maltese artists, through shared material from their personal archives, and those of their families and of art-loving citizen archivists. It is a reflection on an initial aggregation of the disparate collection of art events happening at different locations and points in time that have relevance to the development of the local contemporary context. Jumpstart: An Incomplete Timeline will be projected onto the facade of St. James Cavalier, at Castille Square, Valletta.

You are cordially invited to register for free to attend the MICAS Summer Celebration by sending an email to events@micas.art. An invitation will be sent upon confirmation of registration that will be used to access this event. Invitations should be presented at the entrance. Registration deadline: Wednesday 19th June. Registration is mandatory as spaces are limited. For further information visit our event page or call on 21242183.

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