Fourth Edition of APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale this month

The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale is an international art exhibition held in Mdina every couple of years or so. This month, from November 13 until December 15, the biennale will once again return for a fourth edition, with Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci serving as the art director.

The biennale is held within the centuries old walls of the Mdina Cathedral Museum in Archbishop Square, which is home to an assortment of artefacts dating back to the 12th century. However, despite having been built circa 1700 under the patronage of Bishop Paul Alphéran de Bussan to serve as a seminary, it wasn’t until 1969 that the Baroque building officially began to operate as a museum. It has been preserving and displaying an amazing collection of historical artefacts and artwork ever since.

Supported by APS Bank, the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale sees a myriad of visual artists and their work come to the island to showcase their work. The artists are chosen from an open call accepting local and international submissions alike. This year’s artists (a full list of which can be found here) hail from such countries as Germany, Norway, England, Japan, Poland, Austria, Russia, Cyprus, and of course Malta.  The project’s main philosophy is one of “renewal and revision”, looking for methods to use the arts to address current world issues in a museum setting known for its traditional and religious artefacts.

2020 biennale

With previous editions in 2015, 2017, and 2020, each edition has its own theme, building on the previous one and tackling prevalent issues in the contemporary art world. Thus, this year’s theme is ‘Mediterranean Goddesses’, an idea that Schembri Bonaci accredited to Mgr Dr Edgar Vella, curator of the Mdina Cathedral Museum. The aim is to rekindle the Mediterranean’s importance as a geographical and cultural hub, by recalling the many manifestations of mythological, theological, and spiritual deities in history. 

The exhibition will be open from Monday to Friday between 9:30 am and 4:45 pm, as well as on Saturday from 9:30 am to 2:45 pm. Tickets are priced at €10 for adults, €8 for students, and are free for children under the age of 12. They can be purchased online here.