Originally an exhibition showing Catholic and religious art, today the APS Mdina Biennale has become a forum for local and international artists to explore pertinent struggles in the Mediterranean region. This year the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2017-2018, titled The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualties, presents a selection of original works by artists from diverse cultures across the globe.
At a time when the arts are increasingly called upon to respond to the contemporary political scene, the Mdina Biennale allows for the coming together of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds in an exploration and expression of the age-old problem of human identity. Malta’s position at the centre of the Mediterranean Sea places it in an ideal location to allow for an artistic exchange between these diverse nationalities, cultures, and conflicting spiritualities that surround the Mediterranean.
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.
This year, the Maltese modern art exhibition will be dedicated to the experimental Cubist paintings of Frank Portelli and Esprit Barthet as part of the international conference ‘Cubsim Beyond Paris: Mediterranean Interpretations and the Crystallisation of Cubism – A Maltese Test Case’ organised by the Department of History of Art, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta. International participants hail from Malta, France, Israel, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Austria, USA, Russia, UK, Australia, Italy, Serbia, Lebanon, Jordan, Poland, Latvia, Georgia, and Lithuania.