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As part of the Changing Gear project, the international conference 'Fertility as Spirituality in Modern Art: Mediterranean Mythology and Beyond' is being organised as part of the APS Mdina Contemporary Art Biennale on the 28th November, 2023.
The aim is to involve academics, researchers, and artists to establish a platform for debate and research.
The 2023 Changing Gear conference will be addressing the notion of the Mediterranean as a fertile site for the formation and evolution of artistic concepts manifested as a plethora of forms, especially as mythological, religious, and spiritual deities.
The act of harking back to divinity, in whatever form, is proposed as an aesthetic reply to today's real apocalyptic planetary danger. Over the centuries, the Mediterranean region has offered powerful mythological and religious forms related to fertility and to the defence of humankind. The idea is to rekindle an awareness of this history and to reflect on how Modern and Contemporary Mediterranean art has appropriated and reinvented such spirituality for our present age. The theme of spiritual and species fertility, so rich within the concentrated Mediterranean soil and sea, can, albeit its utopian sub-text, offer an alternative to the political reality plaguing our world today.
Furthermore, this conference aims to reframe the art history of various cultural zones across the Mediterranean basin by inviting speakers to engage with different methodological approaches or with modes of analyses which debate the Eurocentric perspective.
Prof. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci
Prof. Paul Sant Cassia - University of Malta
Prof. Rosanna Ruscio - Accademia di Brera, Milan
Dr Barbara Vujanović - Ivan Meštrović Museums – Meštrović Atelier, Zagreb
Dr Frederika Tevebring - King's College London
Prof. Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert - Cyprus University of Technology
Dr Antigone Heraclidou - CYENS Centre of Excellence, Cyprus
Prof. Giorgos Papantoniou - Trinity College Dublin
Prof. Christine E. Morris - Trinity College Dublin
Matthew Robert Shirfield
About the APS Mdina Biennale:
The APS Mdina Contemporary Art Biennale is now entering its fourth edition under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci.
Each edition builds upon the experiences of the previous one by addressing thematic, aesthetic, and even technical issues of relevance to the art's today. The central ethos of the project is that of renewal and revision, seeking ways in which the arts may respond to contemporary global topics within a museum space filled with traditional and religious works of art and artefacts.
In 2023, the Mdina Biennale will be re-igniting the significance of the Mediterranean as a geographical and cultural region, this time harking back to the multi-forms of mythological, religious, and spiritual deities. Hence the theme title of 'Mediterranean Goddesses'. This notion develops upon the theme of the 2020 Mdina Biennale: 'Regaining a Paradise Lost: The Role of the Arts'.
The fourth edition is scheduled for Autumn 2023, opening from the 13th of November until 15th December.
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