Blitz was founded in 2013 as a grassroots, artist-run contemporary arts space, and it is housed in a four-level, typical Valletta townhouse, which was originally the family home of founder Alexandra Pace’s grandparents. After standing empty for over 30 years, the building slowly started returning to life through a dedicated and steady restoration process. Nowadays, Blitz has become a reference for contemporary art in Malta, and each of its floors shines in its full former glory where it has hosted numerous events and exhibitions, while also being the private residence of its founder.
Since its inception, Blitz has formed an identity and a presence that has extended beyond the island to the international art world, through prominent collaborations with institutions such as Royal College of Arts (London), Central Saint Martins University of the Arts (London), the European Graduate School (EGS) and the annual Network of European Museum Organizations conference (NEMO). In 2015 Blitz launched the Residency Programme which invited artists from Berlin, London, Wroclaw, Athens, Kuwait, Paris and Istanbul to participate via open calls with more than 200 applicants. Also, Blitz has received important mentions by ArtBasel Crowdfunding initiative (2015), and Tate Art Exchange Programme (2016).
In 2018 curator Sara Dolfi Agostini joined the artistic team of Blitz Valletta and was pivotal to the artistic program presented between 2019 and 2022. Throughout this time, Blitz’s international programme reflected the institution’s commitment to support and showcase Malta- based artists abroad, in high profile international platforms dedicated to non-profit art spaces. Simultaneously, its exhibition and public programmes at home focused on introducing the Maltese community to the practice of established international artists such as Cory Arcangel, Rossella Biscotti, Sara Cwynar, Simon Denny, David Claerbout, Adrian Paci, Simon Fujiwara, Marinella Senatore, Amalia Ulman, Tobias Zielony, to name a few.
Their works had never been exhibited in Malta before, yet specifically resonated with Malta’s unique history, culture and social landscape as much as with the major challenges of our present society. For Blitz, Malta is an inspiring artistic laboratory offering a bridge between past and future, from the Megalithic temples, Baroque churches and masterpieces by Caravaggio, to the growing internet, gaming, blockchain, and new media industries.
Between 2020 and 2022, Blitz expanded its activities to operate in three spaces equally relevant to its community – online with the platform OPEN, in the physical galleries and in the city of Valletta. Integrating these three spaces, Blitz explored the possibilities to reinvent the notion of a shared, public space for collective thinking. Blitz has also co-produced the international commission The Journey by artist Rossella Biscotti together with KunstenFestivalDesArts Brussels and Dream City Festival in Tunis.
Blitz’s activities have been featured in some of the most relevant international media – Artforum, Folha de S.Paulo, Flash Art International, Mousse Magazine, Weltkunst, Sole 24 ORE, Artribune and Abitare.