A New Generation


Curated by Mark Mangion

14 January → 7 February 2010
Malta Contemporary Art, Valletta

A New Generation is a group show of 10 emerging Maltese artists all off whom formed part of MCA’s Studio & Research Programme, which commenced in November 2009. This also marks an ambitious move to MCA’s new galleries in Valletta and its collaboration with St. James Cavalier.

After initial contact with the artists, it was clear that the idea of discussion would provide the best platform in which their work could grow and have more depth. Open and critical debates, where these 10 artists challenged their own perceptions of where their work was heading, allowed it to move in new directions.

Both the problematics in historic development of artist movements and an inadequate infrastructure for the visual arts in Malta throughout the 20th and 21st century has as a result created a great divide in the artist community. This reality and a lack of a will to move forward with ideas, has for many years plagued the Maltese art scene.

These young artists though, belong to a new generation who seem to approach ideas with a very international dimension. While they are curious, they are not perhaps, seeking any specific cultural connections.
Is it a matter of age, connectivity? That through technological leaps that maintain us at the same speed as any city, challenges of our new identity and the sense of belonging to a larger territory and culture? Or is it just perhaps the time for a young Malta to leap out and assert itself without fear? I believe it is a bit of all of these and that this is a generation that needs to be taken seriously and supported. They are not only Malta’s future but more than that. It’s a matter of timing and they have the possibility to reshape and move Malta forward with great strides.

There are, without doubt, great differences occurring within their thinking, process and finally their work. This is positive especially when one is confronted with a sense of geographical detachment and smallness. There is no yell of isolation and inferiority. Instead there is an observation of cultural specificity relating to narratives and form, which are used with subtlety and not tied to a specific place and time.
Perhaps though most interestingly, through a will to challenge their own ideas of observation, definition and making; an interesting shift happens through putting oneself and thus the work in an awkward and risky space. It is a space, which does not have resolve and conclusion, but instead proposes or merely exists as an observed or made form or idea, hovering in a space of possibility.