Exciting news on MICAS, 'Conversations on the Rock' and Venice Biennale 2018.
Where are you currently and what have you been doing this month?
I have just got off a plane from the South of France where I was with various clients, then it's off to Ibiza later this week with more clients and then back to Malta to shoot for our social media and, also, for my book (which is out next year) and a few welcome days off (I hope!) - although with the temperature soaring as it is around Europe, it’s tempting to stay put in London in August as it’s so empty!
How are you enjoying being Malta's Cultural Ambassador so far?
It's been a whirl-wind to be honest. As well as flying the flag for Malta in the press in the US, Russia and around Europe, we have been very hard at work setting up for MICAS, which is due to open the end of 2018, as well as the MICAS fundraising weekend this October. It's an honour to be able to promote my country in this way and I am thrilled to have been given such an opportunity.
Who or what is the audience you are aiming MICAS at and what have you planned?
Ugo Rondinone's https://ugorondinone.com installation will be dedicated to the children of Malta as MICAS is aimed at their future, offering them the potential to explore global art, design and culture and have access to international museums, artists and exhibitions. We are already working on projects for next June and aligning with a very well known museum.
That sounds very exciting; can you tell us any more or what can we can expect?
In October we are hosting Conversations on the Rock (12-13 October) which will be a series of talks hosted by the international style journalist Gianluca Longo. www.gianlucalongo.com/about.html. Guest speakers will include Hans Ulrich Obrist https://www.instagram.com/hansulrichobrist/?hl=en and Yana Peel https://twitter.com/yanapeel?lang=en from the Serpentine Galleries and the international renowned fashion designers Roland Mouret https://www.rolandmouret.com/ and Mary Katrantzou. https://www.marykatrantzou.com Tickets are free and I urge everyone to come and hear them talk.
You have been busy! Anything else for our diaries please?
Ugo Rondinone has very kindly agreed to support the October event by creating a site-specific installation at MICAS. We have many of the world's biggest collectors and curators lined up to arrive and to see what MICAS is all about. For many this will be the first time they have been to Malta, so it will be a wonderful chance to show off just what we can offer an international audience and continue to put Malta on the global cultural map.
Any updates on the Venice Biennale 2018 as you were instrumental in returning Malta to this prestigious event?
I have been delighted to help align Malta with the Venice Biennale. I was honoured to host a reception in Venice for Malta and ensure that our country has strong visibility there. The Arts Council will be making more announcements about Venice in the coming days.
Finally, what's the strangest question you have been asked about Malta since becoming Cultural Ambassador?
People assume I get paid - which I don't. I am lucky that my 'day job' enables me to take on this role and it's simply an honour to represent Malta as Cultural Ambassador and to be pivotal in making a change for our future and the future of the next generations. I also feel, in my case, it's very important to give back and to support our cultural causes when I can and to support them financially.
Thank you, Francis, for such fabulous news and we look forward to seeing you in Malta soon.
Photography Credits - TEMPLE
Photo of Yana Peel and Hans Ulrich Obrist - ©Kate Berry
For more information on MICAS, please refer to https://culture.gov.mt/en/micas
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