For the Malta Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2019

Response/Submission Date and Time: 16 May 2018 at 12pm (CET)

Table of Contents

Section A: Definitions and Instructions    
Section B: General Information    
Section C: Description of the Contracting Authority and Background information    
Section D: Details of Information Requested    
Section E: Additional Information    

Section A: Definitions and Instructions

Arts Council Malta
Arts Council Malta is the Commissioner and the Contracting Authority of the Malta Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2019. The Commissioner/ Contracting Authority is here being referred to as ‘Arts Council Malta’.

Call for a Curatorial Team
The Preliminary Market Consultation - PMC for a Curatorial Team for the Malta Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2019, is here being referred to as a ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’.

Curatorial Teams
Curatorial Teams may be composed of a mixture of curators, architects, designers, project managers and curatorial assistants. Applicants/Economic Operators are here being referred to as ‘Curatorial Teams’.

Response to this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ is to be submitted via email on by 16 May 2018 at 12pm (CET). All submissions will be acknowledged and will be dealt with in strictest confidence.

Section B: General Information

1)    Purpose
Any information received in response to this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ will assist Arts Council Malta in finalizing the scope of work and requirements which will be used in the selection of the winning proposal. Submitting a response to this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ is not a guarantee in any way that the applying Curatorial Team will be selected for the shortlisting and the pitching session, nor does it preclude any of the applicant Curatorial Teams from responding to future procurement opportunities.

The issuance of this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ does not constitute a commitment to issue a request for bids, award a contract or pay any costs incurred in preparation of a response to this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’.

2)    Issuing Office
The issuing office, being Arts Council Malta is the point of contact for this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’. Please refer any inquiries or request for clarifications to: Arts Council Malta, by sending an email to:

Any clarifications and addenda/updates regarding this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ will be published on Arts Council Malta’s website. Any requests for clarifications may be sent to Arts Council Malta up to five days before the deadline of this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’.

3)    Curatorial Teams Presentations
Arts Council Malta may request the Curatorial Teams to provide a presentation on the information provided in response to this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’. All costs associated with such presentations will be borne by the Curatorial Teams.

4)    Confidentiality and the ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ Ownership
This ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ is both confidential and proprietary to Arts Council Malta and Arts Council Malta reserves the right to recall the ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ in its entirety or in part.

The Curatorial Teams shall not include or reference this ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ in any publicity without prior written approval from Arts Council Malta. The Curatorial Teams accept all of the foregoing terms and conditions without exception. All responses to the ‘Call for a Curatorial Team’ will become the property of Arts Council Malta and will not be returned.

5)    Disclosure of Proposal Contents
Cost and price information provided in information proposals will be held in confidence and will not be revealed or discussed with competitors, except to the extent required by law.

All other material submitted becomes the property of Arts Council Malta and may be returned only at Arts Council Malta’s discretion. Information proposals submitted to Arts Council Malta may be reviewed and evaluated by any person other than competing Curatorial Teams at the discretion of Arts Council Malta.

6)    Submission Instructions
Proposals in response to this Call for a Curatorial Team need to be merged into one pdf document and need be submitted to Arts Council Malta by 16 May 2018 at 12pm (CET) via email to indicating ‘Venice Biennale Curatorial Proposal 2019’ as subject.   

Section C:  Description of the Contracting Authority and Background information    

1)    Arts Council Malta
Arts Council Malta, under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government, has been entrusted to act as the Commissioner and the Contracting Authority, of the Malta Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Arts Council Malta is the national agency for development and investment in the cultural and creative sectors.

2)    La Biennale di Venezia
Established in 1895, the International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia is the foremost global presentation of visual art, with an unrivalled international reputation for excellence in the sector. It attracts an audience of over 500,000 visitors and it is arguably the most important visual arts event in the international arts calendar. Inclusion in the Biennale can have a substantial impact on an artist’s international career. During the six and a half months of the Biennale, Venice becomes a showcase for international contemporary art. Its audience consists of curators, artists, leaders of global museums, collectors, gallerists, journalists, critics and a diverse public audience. Association with the Biennale brings huge international exposure to artists – creating new global audiences, platforms and opportunities for them and their work.

The declared aim of the Malta Pavilion is to offer a platform through which the best Maltese contemporary artistic practices can be exposed and presented to an international audience. The successful curatorial team will work closely with the artist (s) selected to represent Malta and they will work closely with the Malta Pavilion Commissioner (Arts Council Malta) to successfully deliver the exhibition in Venice.

3)    The Malta Pavilion  
The Malta Pavilion is approximately 285 square metres with exposed brick walls. It is located at the Artiglierie in the Arsenale Area and it is the same location which hosted the Malta Pavilion during the 57th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2017. In 2015, during the 56th International Art Exhibition, this location hosted the Tuvalu Pavilion. This is a very central location in the Arsenale which sees hundreds of visitors every day.

The Biennale di Venezia shall provide the following for the Malta Pavilion in 2019:
-    technical supervision of the installation through the Biennale’s offices in order to guarantee the consistency with the restrictions related to historic buildings;
-    technical assessment of the exhibition project by the Biennale offices in order to verify the compliance with the current Italian security and safety regulations;
-    a basic electrical system (a 3Kw power socket located inside the exhibition space) and general lighting system;
-    day time surveillance of outdoor spaces during the closing hours of the Exhibition;
-    armed night surveillance of outdoor areas, including video surveillance;
-    maintenance of the security and electrical systems;
-    fire prevention service provided by the Fire Brigade as required by Italian law;
-    exhibition signage (within the Exhibition’s signage) indicating the Countries located in the Arsenale area.

Details of the chosen venue.

4)    Set Budget
The allocated budget for the Curatorial Team to successfully deliver the exhibition at the Malta Pavilion is EUR150, 000 and will be secured by Arts Council Malta.

5)    Curatorial Team Requirements
-    The call is open to Curatorial Teams with a strong international curatorial track   record;
-    Multi-national Curatorial Teams that include Maltese individuals in the team as well as Maltese artists will be favourably considered;
-    The Curatorial Team shall be answerable to Arts Council Malta;
-    Following the announcement of the selected Curatorial Team, the team will be requested to attend regular update meetings with Arts Council Malta and any changes or additions to the submitted proposal need to have the approval of Arts Council Malta.

6)    The Curatorial Team shall be responsible to:
•    Deliver the concept, design, production and execution of the Malta Pavilion, including but not limited to any materials, equipment, lighting and other technical requirements to produce and deliver the project;  
•    Select the artworks to be exhibited in the Malta Pavilion;
•    Handle the communication and contracts with the selected artist/s and/ or organisations, including any ancillary intellectual property agreements with third parties;
•    Appoint a project manager, who will also be part of the proposed curatorial team. The project manager shall be selected by the curators and will be working closely with them on the logistics, the administration, the fundraising, the accounting, co-ordination, organization and production management of the Malta Pavilion, and any other requirements needed for the successful delivery of the exhibition;
•    Curate the exhibition catalogue, including choice of contributors, and liaise directly with the publishing house with regards to layout and other editorial requirements as necessary. The design, production and printing of the catalogue will also be the responsability of the curatorial team in close consultation and agreement with Arts Council Malta;
•    Rent and co-ordinate the space for the mock-up of the Malta Pavilion in Malta, if needed, prior to its transportation to Venice;
•    Purchase the insurance and the transportation service of all objects and materials required for the Malta Pavilion;
•    Be responsible for the travel and accommodation arrangements of the curatorial team in Venice;
•    Setting up and dismantling of the Malta Pavilion as determined by the rules and regulations of the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia;
•    Co-ordinate the interns and/or site officers running the Malta Pavilion in Venice;
•    The Curatorial Team as well as the artists shall be expected to participate in media interviews and any promotional activities;
•    Assist and support marketing, PR requirements and communications as required by Arts Council Malta;
•    Document and advertise the Malta Pavilion through social media in liaision with Arts Council Malta’s communications team;
•    Attend Vernissage Week in May 2019 (the Biennale’s launch week) in Venice to promote the exhibition to the press and lead tours;
•    Demonstrate that they have a history of working collaboratively on significant projects;
•    Nominate a main contact person from the Curatorial Team, and provide telephone and email contact details;
•    Any other requirements needed for the successful delivery of the exhibition.

Section D: Details of Information Requested

Proposals are to be merged into one pdf document and they need to include the following information:

1)    Exhibition
•    The proposed curatorial concept;
•    Supporting imagery/ sketches;
•    An understanding, as well as a reflection of the Maltese contemporary artistic scene;
•    Clarity on who the selected artist (s) is/are and the artwork (s) to be exhibited;
•    Exhibition catalogue overview;
•    The proposed timeline;
•    Any other information relevant to and required for a better and comprehensive understanding and evaluation of the submitted proposal.

2)    Team
•    Clarity of the roles of each member of the curatorial team, including the details of any additional team members who will be involved in the project e.g.:  technical assistants, curatorial collaborators and exhibition catalogue contributors and designers;  
•    A full curriculum vita for each team member including that of the curators, artists and project management team, highlighting previous experience in similar high-profile, international projects, as well as the capacity to undertake an exhibition of this international significance.

3)    Budget
•    A draft budget breakdown detailing how the budget will be allocated. This needs to include the following:

•    the proposed curatorial fees, the fees for each member of the project management team and the proposed artists’ fees;
•    exhibition production costs including materials, fees for specialist labour, studio assistants etc.;
•    estimated freighting costs (during production phases and getting the work to and from Venice);
•    insurance costs;
•    costs for mounting and dismantling of the exhibition;
•    catalogue costs, including fees for its design, printing, freight, duty and taxes;
•    travel and accommodation expenses for the curatorial team members in Venice;
•    any other expenses.

If additional budgets are required, the proposal shall also include how these will be sourced by the curatorial team, through private sponsorship as required in response to their submitted proposal. The proposal needs to also indicate a strong track record on how additional resources in similar projects were sourced.   

Assessment Process
The assessment will have a two-stage process. Submitted proposals will be initially screened for eligibility, after which, the eligible candidates will be shortlisted and then further assessed by an international jury, purposely appointed and chaired by Arts Council Malta. All applicants will be notified by email of the results and the shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch their project and discuss it in further detail during an interview with the jury panel to clarify any information submitted as required. The decision by the Evaluation Board is final and without the right of recourse.

The jury panel shall be guided by the following criteria throughout the process leading to the final selection:
i)    Exhibition
1.    The strengths and merits of the exhibition concept and selected artwork (s);
2.    A strong understanding of the Maltese contemporary artistic scene;
3.    The logistical and financial viability of the proposed curatorial strategy as presented in the draft breakdown of costings and budget allocation for each of the proposed components;   

ii)    Curatorial Team
1.    The strong track record, international profile and curriculum vitae of the curator (s) showing significant exhibition records. The curator (s) must be considered by the sector to be at the “top of their game”;
2.    The strong track record of the project manager;
3.    The strong track record of the other Curatorial Team members, including those of any architects and/ or designers involved;
4.    The strengths and merits of the artist (s) whose works are selected for the Malta Pavilion exhibition;
5.    The strong track record for completing projects on time and on budget.

Proposals with missing information, as specified in this call in the section under “PROPOSALS”, will be deemed ineligible (i.e. proposals with for example missing curriculum vitae or with a missing budget forecast will be deemed ineligible.)

The Curatorial Team responsible for the Malta Pavilion in 2017 is not eligible to re-apply together as a team to curate the Malta Pavilion at the 2019 Biennale edition so that the opportunity is given to other Curatorial Teams.

4)    Response Format
Responses are to be straightforward, clear, concise and specific to the information requested. In order for submissions to be considered complete, Curatorial Teams must provide all the requested information mentioned in this document as well as any other comments, observations or suggestions which potentially may assist Arts Council Malta in shortlisting the applicants.

Clarifications and Frequently Asked Questions

- Has the director been announced for the Visual Arts section of the Venice Biennale in 2019?
Yes, President Paolo Baratta approved the appointment of Ralph Rugoff as Director of the Visual Arts Sector, with specific responsibility for curating the 58th International Art Exhibition to be held in 2019.

- Have the dates of the 58th International Art Exhibition in 2019 been announced?
Yes, the Board of the Biennale di Venezia approved the dates of the 58th International Art Exhibition: 11th May  till  24th November 2019

Closed on Mondays (except 13 May, 2 September, 18 November)

Giardini open 10am to 6pm
Arsenale open 10am to 6pm

- Are there more images of the space which will be hosting the Malta Pavilion?
Kindly click on the link to access the plan of the space (with images from a different angle) as sent by the Biennale di Venezia organisers.

This is an image taken in 2017 of the Malta Pavilion, curated by Raphael Vella and Bettina Hutschek, during the 57th International Art Exhibition.

Further images and information on the 2017 edition can be found here:

The space which will be hosting the Malta Pavilion in 2019 also hosted the Tuvalu Pavilion in 2015. You can find several images and youtube videos of the space online. These are some of them:

- Is Arts Council Malta considering shortlisting proposals from those received by 16th May and giving shortlisted curatorial teams the opportunity to develop a second-stage submission?
Arts Council Malta will be shortlisting the submitted proposals after the 16th May deadline. The shortlisted applicants will not be able to make a second-stage submission; however, they will be further evaluated during the pitching session, where applicants can clarify and further elaborate on their proposed project. Further information on the pitching sessions will be sent out to the successful shortlisted applicants.

- Is Arts Council Malta after a 'collective exhibition’ set-up, presenting a collection of artworks from various Maltese artists? Or will proposals with a single, installation-type of set-up, which does not include a number of individuals be also considered?
This is up to the curatorial team and it needs be submitted in the proposal as outlined in the brief above.

- What support and assistance, if any, does Arts Council Malta offer for the ongoing staffing of the Pavilion (by interns and site officers) over the duration of the Venice Biennale? 
Arts Council Malta will be recruiting and covering the costs for the site officers over the duration of the Venice Biennale. However, the management and co-ordination of the interns and/or site officers running the Malta Pavilion in Venice will be the responsibility of the curatorial team, such as the general briefing of the site officers, any press queries etc.

- Should the communication and promotion costs be included (brochures, press release, press conference, photo and video shooting, advertising etc.)?
The Commissioner, Arts Council Malta, is responsible for the communications of the Malta Pavilion in collaboration with the curatorial team; however, as detailed in the call, the catalogue expenses need to be included in the budget, including fees for its design, printing, freight, duty and taxes. Designs for brochures, as well as photo and video shooting and adverts should also be included in the budget.

- On which days is the installation and dismantling of the works planned?
The exact dates will be communicated to the selected curatorial team at a later stage when the Biennale di Venezia organisers inform the Commissioner. Usually, the installation takes place a few days prior to the press opening of the Biennale, thus probably the installation will be at the end of April/first week of May 2019. The dismantling will be after the exhibition closes, at the end of November 2019.

- Should the accommodation costs for the participating artists, who need to be present for the opening of the Biennale, be included in the budget breakdown?

- Should the insurance cover only transport and installation / dismantling or should it also be extended to the period of the exhibition?
Yes, it needs to cover the whole duration of the exhibition period.

- If the budget breakdown for my proposal exceeds EUR150,000 what do I do?
As outlined in the brief above, additional funding may be sourced through private sponsorship by the curatorial team, thus the proposal should also include how these will be sourced.

- Who are the members of the jury who will be selecting the curator/ curatorial team for the Malta Pavilion?
The names of the members of the jury will be disclosed on the day of the notification of results. Shortlisted nominees will meet the jury during the pitching/ interview session.