Curators Keith Sciberras (MT) and Jeffrey Uslip (NY) – through the creative collaboration of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci (MT), Arcangelo Sassolino (IT) and the composition of renowned Maltese conductor and musician Brian Schembri (MT) – will be rearticulating Caravaggio’s seminal altarpiece The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1608). For the Malta Pavilion they will be creating a conceptual, immersive, site-specific installation that bridges Biblical narratives with contemporary culture. Through their signature artistic visions, brothers Giuseppi Schembri Bonaci and Brian Schembri along with Arcangelo Sassolino shall transpose the zeitgeist of the Valletta Oratory of the Decollato onto the Malta Pavilion, resituating Caravaggio’s immanent themes within modern life.
The work shall celebrate the centuries-long art historical exchange between Malta and Italy while addressing many of the global challenges we face in today’s world, including inequality, justice and peace. Collectively, their works prompt viewers to traverse a space where the tragedy, brutality and injustice of St. John’s execution are experienced in the present day in real time and space. Through the contemporary sculptural language of this modern day representation of St. John’s beheading, Biblical tragedy shall resonate with current world cultural events and offer viewers a visceral analysis of justice and peace.