The curators of the Malta Pavilion are in the process of selecting works by artists

"The Maltese are Africans…It is said that all the men are alike, copper in color, with slightly wooly hair, with piercing eyes and robust and of medium height. It seems as if all the women were of the same family, with large eyes and long lashes, dark hair, charming hands…The Maltese have the mercantile instinct…Hard-working, thrifty, economic, industrious, sober, but violent, vindictive and jealous…They speak a dialect of which the base is Arabic…a language animated and picturesque, lending itself easily to metaphor and poetry.”

Jules Verne, Mathias Sandorf, 1885


The Malta Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) is being curated by Bettina Hutschek and Raphael Vella and will be called Homo Melitensis: An Incomplete Inventory in 19 Chapters. The exhibition explores perceptions about identity, nationhood, ‘national’ characteristics and territorial constructs, and aims to guide viewers on an imaginative journey through popular and multidisciplinary perceptions about Maltese identity, studied from a somewhat Borgesian perspective and presented in a non-hierarchical and achronological series of collections. The curatorial approach is critical, questioning and playful, and undermines the question of national representation at the same time as it presents it within the context of the pavilion. Artefacts borrowed from national and folk collections and archival photographic images will create dialogues with existing works by contemporary artists. The curators are currently in the process of selecting works by artists. 

This call is intended only for artists of Maltese origin who do not currently live in Malta. Contemporary artists based in Malta are being contacted directly by the curators and their inclusion in the pavilion will be by invitation only. 'Maltese origin' is being interpreted here as being either a Maltese national based abroad or a citizen of another country with 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation connections to Malta. No age limit applies.

Contemporary visual artists working in any medium or form may apply. Prospective applicants should send:

- An artistic portfolio with work of the last 5 years, with special attention to projects that are relevant to the theme and curatorial approach of the Malta Pavilion.
- A current CV with lists of exhibitions, website or other relevant online links as well as contact details (current address, email address).
- A letter of intent with information about your relationship to Malta.

While there is no limit to the number of works or projects that can be included in your application, all information and images must be sent in a single pdf file of not more than 5MB and not more than 15 pages in length.

To apply, send an email with your PDF as attachment to

Deadline for applications: 10th October, 2016. Work sent after that date will not be considered.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome by 4th November, 2016.

Any queries can be sent by email to

Arts Council Malta is the Commissioner of the Malta Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2017. The project is being done in collaboration with MUŻA (Malta’s National Museum of Fine Arts, Heritage Malta), under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government.

The Maltese Pavilion will also form part of the Cultural programme of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017. The project will also bridge with the contemporary art programme of Valletta as European Capital of Culture in 2018.