Documentary on Diplomazija Astuta, the Malta Pavillion for Venice Biennale

Documentary on Diplomazija Astuta, the Malta Pavillion for La Biennale di Venezia 2022 to be aired on TVM News Plus

The documentary on Diplomazija Astuta will be aired this Wednesday 2nd November at 21:00 on TVM News Plus.

Diplomazija astuta is the project representing Malta and commissioned by Arts Council Malta for the 59th edition of La Biennale di Venezia, which will soon be closing its doors, on the 27th of November 2022.

This is the third consecutive time that Malta is participating in La Biennale di Venezia, and this time round, the immersive installation – inspired by the Caravaggio painting of The Beheading of St John the Baptist – marries the past with the future in a manner that incites its audience to share a space where the tragedy and brutality of St John’s execution is experienced in the present.

The documentary delves into detail with regards to what the project is about, with commentaries and observations made by co-curators Keith Sciberras and Jeffrey Uslip, artists Arcangelo Sassolino and Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, composer Brian Schembri and project managers Nikki Petroni, Laura Dequal and Esther Flurry.

The Maltese Pavilion was met with broad critical acclaim, making it one of the most visited pavilions for this edition of La Biennale. Its media presence was also felt, with around 70 pieces of coverage including socials, as well as online and offline pieces, which reached 65.8 million people.

NOWNESS, a video channel premiering the best in global arts and culture across various art forms, made reference to the image of fire raining down from the heavens as a sign “universally understood as a harbinger of Earth’s apocalyptic demise. So when the Malta Pavilion drip-fed 400 pounds of incandescent molten steel per day from the ceiling of an industrial complex for the 59th Venice Biennale, that fearsome End-Times dread was almost visceral.”

The art magazine Exibart also wrote on the installation, describing it as  a “kinetic and sculptural reimagining of Caravaggio’s seminal art piece,” with the Italian Corriere della Sera La Lettura, referring to it as “Sogni e Incubi dell’ Italia Industriale” (Dreams and Nightmares of Industrial Italy) with a direct reference to the molten steel created through Sassolino’s work. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Art Newspaper and Art Review all mentioned that the Maltese Pavilion is a ‘must see’, with La Repubblica dedicating a 2-page spread entitled ‘Gran Teatro Caravaggio’(The grandiose theatre of Caravaggio.)

As mentioned earlier this week in the 2023 budget, Arts Council Malta is currently working on its first participation in the London Design Biennale 2023, whilst continuing to work towards the 2024 edition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Arts Council Malta is committed to continue providing artists with an international platform and is constantly addressing and implementing its vision with regards to the internationalisation of the sector.