Malta takes the world stage for Modern and Contemporary Art
MICAS - The launch of its first project with Ugo Rondinone
Malta’s commitment to Modern and Contemporary Art – the Ugo Rondinone way
Friday night and the beautiful gardens at Sa Maison were alive with music, lights and an international crowd, as well as local art aficionados, ready for the concept launch reception and inaugural first project of MICAS (Malta International Contemporary Art Space). The art gallery officially opens in 2021, but, in the words of Cultural Ambassador and driving force behind the project Francis Sultana, Malta is already on the world stage for Modern and Contemporary Art and the occasion on Friday night was a reminder of that commitment, energy and intent.
The gravitas given to MICAS was reinforced through speeches from both the Minister of Culture and the Prime Minister. The introduction by MICAS chair, Mrs Phyllis Muscat, again emphasised the positive impact, not just of MICAS but the regeneration of the old Ospizio into a real space for the people of Malta.
The event was also a celebration of the internationally acclaimed artist Ugo Rondinone’s spectacular gift to the Maltese people. ‘The Radiant’ is his manifestation of the joy and life of the universal: for him, the stones themselves represent timelessness and the human form.
His view of the connection between land, sea and the human mind are highly representative of Malta. ‘The Radiant’ installation is his gift to the children of Malta who represent the future.
Moreover, the artist and his team worked personally with many schoolchildren in Malta to produce a second exhibition ‘Joy’. This evocative, audio-sensory installation comprises 170 wishing bells, suspended from the trees in Sa Maison Garden and each labelled with the child’s name or class or school. A more beautiful gift would be hard to imagine.
The official unveiling of ‘The Radiant’, took place to cheers and applause, despite the driving rain.
In addition to ‘The Radiant, the upper storeys of the Ospizio play host to an artistic architectural exhibition called ‘Connecting Geographies – from idea to project’. This work by Ruth Bianco, MICAS’s art director comprises ‘Pelicula’ a running commentary of the project from concept to present day.
Totems are key touchpoints within MICAS currently and Prima Pietra’, a totemic stone forest set in a shimmering lake is thought-provoking and hauntingly beautiful.
Enormous, colourful doors and windows, made from reclaimed timber, are a visually high impact installation and signify the opening up of the global art world to Malta and are designed to present the concept of gateways not barriers.
Even though MICAS is a work in progress, this in no way precludes visits and the opportunity to see this amazing concept literally appearing before your eyes. Don’t wait till 2021.
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Content and images: TEMPLE Magazine