BLITZ VALLETTA 2022 DIGITAL RESIDENCY
ALEXANDRA PACE, Blitz Valletta Founder and Director
Alexandra Pace is a Maltese artist and curator based in Valletta. She graduated from Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London and following that, in 2013 she returned to Malta to focus on establishing and directing what has become the longest-running, independent contemporary art space in the country – Blitz Valletta. The space that houses the organization and the gallery is a four-level, typical Valletta townhouse, which was originally the family home of Alexandra’s grandparents. After standing empty for over 30 years, the building slowly started returning to life through a dedicated and steady restoration process. Since its founding, Blitz Valletta has grown from a grassroot artist-run space into the reference – and longer lasting – institution for contemporary art in Malta for both the local art community and the international art scene, earning Malta the first ever reviews on many international outlets such as ArtForum, Flash Art International, WeltKunst and Mousse Magazine. In 2017 and 2018 Alexandra headed the curatorial team at Blitz, in collaboration with Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London and Royal College of Art London – together with project partners MUŻA, Valletta Design Cluster, Arts Council Malta and Valletta 2018 Foundation – to co-produced the large-scale multisite project, Transformer. The two-year project built relationships between a Maltese artistic context and an international cultural network of artist-run organisations (AROs) through a series of border-crossing curatorial and artistic exchanges between AROs such as Arcadia Missa in London and others based in Athens, Barcelona, Casablanca and Marrakech. As an artist, Alexandra Pace was the recipient of the European Eyes on Japan artist residency (2017) in Aomori Prefecture and the Contemporary Istanbul curatorial residency (2019). She was nominated for the MullenLowe NOVA Award for Fresh Creative Talent (2014) and The Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography (2020). Pace’s work has been exhibited in Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles (2018), MADATAC Spain (2016), NRW Forum (2017), SKG Bridges Festival of Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (2019) and Face With Tears of Joy at Blitz Valletta (2019). She was a visiting lecturer at the Department of Digital Arts, University of Malta (2013–2017) and Malta College of Science, Arts and Technology (2011–2012) when she was one of the founding academic members of the Photography Department.
SARA DOLFI AGOSTINI, Blitz Valletta Curator
Sara Dolfi Agostini is an Italian American contemporary art curator and writer based in Malta and Napoli, Italy. She has compiled a broad base of curatorial, journalistic and teaching experience, focusing on visual culture from the 90s, particularly on the theory of image circulation and the politics of representation. She currently holds the positions of adjunct faculty in the Master Degree for Fondazione Modena Arti Visive (since 2016) and advisory board member on photography for Triennale Milano (since 2017). She has worked for international institutions such as Manifesta (2008) and the International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara (2010), and co-curated the public art project ArtLine Milano for the City of Milan (2013-16). Since 2008 she has been a regular contributor to the newspaper Il Sole 24 ORE, and has written for a number of publications including ArtBasel Stories, Elephant, Flash Art International, KLAT, Camera Austria, Rivista Studio, Il Giornale dell’Arte and Artribune. She moved to Malta in 2017, and shortly after she curated the presentation of Stuart Franklin in the group exhibition (Met)Afourisms (2018) at St James Cavalier in Valletta. In mid-2018 she joined the curatorial team of Blitz Valletta, where she curated the public programme and solo exhibitions of Rossella Biscotti, Sara Cwynar, and Tobias Zielony; a double solo show with Ahmet Öğüt and Adelita Husni-Bey; and the group shows Face with Tears of Joy with artists Cory Arcangel, Simon Denny, Andy Holden, Maurice Mbikayi, Alexandra Pace, Rob Pruitt, Paul Sochacki, Amalia Ulman, and Serena Vestrucci; and Gravity with artists Kane Cali, John Coplans, Jesse Darling, Simon Fujiwara, Eva Kotátková, Adrian Paci, and Pierre Portelli. With Blitz Valletta’s director Alexandra Pace, in April 2020 she founded OPEN, an online spin off of the art institution. For OPEN, she also curated the online exhibition The Eye of The Storm, featuring artists David Claerbout, Jonathas De Andrade, Elena Mazzi / Sara Tirelli, Aernout Mik, Laure Prouvost and Pilvi Takala. Finally, in 2021, she also curated Blitz Valletta’s commission The Journey by artist Rossella Biscotti, a co-production with KunstenFestivalDesArts Brussels and Dream City Festival in Tunis, and she is currently working on an exhibition and performance by Marinella Senatore.
VALENTINA TANNI, International Digital Art Specialist and Mentor
Valentina Tanni is an art historian, curator and lecturer. Her research is centered on the relationship between art and technology, with a particular focus on internet culture. She is currently an adjunct professor of Digital Art at Politecnico University in Milan and Culture Digitali (Digital Cultures) at NABA. Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and Milan. In 2002 she graduated from La Sapienza University in Rome with a thesis on Net Art and in the following years she published numerous articles, reviews and essays on new media art and contemporary art in general. In 2001 she founded Random Magazine, one of the first online columns entirely dedicated to Net Art and she was one of the founders of the Italian magazine Exibart, a project on which she worked until 2007, when she was appointed editorial director of the magazine FMR Online. She is also one of the founding members of Artribune Magazine, where she worked from 2011 to 2021 as an editor-in-chief, social media strategist and video content manager. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including: the Net Art section of Media Connection (Rome and Milan, 2001), Netizens (Rome, 2002), L’oading. Genetically Modified Videogames (Syracuse, 2003), Maps and Legends. When Photography Met the Web (Rome, 2010), Datascapes (Rome, 2011), Hit the Crowd. Photography in the Age of Crowdsourcing (Rome, 2012), Nothing to See Here (Milan, 2013), Eternal September. The Rise of Amateur Culture (Ljubljana, 2014), Stop and Go. The Art of Animated Gifs (Rome, 2016 / Ljubljana 2018); Arte-19. Virus Virtual Reality Game (online, 2020); Art Layers (online, 2021). She collaborated with several digital arts festivals, as a curator, consultant or juror, and worked as a guest curator at FotoGrafia. International Festival of Rome for the section “Photography and New Media” from 2010 to 2012. She has written for national and international magazines and worked as a lecturer for numerous public and private institutions (University of Rome La Sapienza, LUISS, Istituto Europeo di Design, Fondazione Modena Arti Visive). She published “Random. Navigando contro mano, alla scoperta dell’arte in rete” (Link editions, 2011) and “Memestetica. Il settembre eterno dell’arte” (Nero, 2020). Since November 2020 she is a member of Rome Quadriennale Foundation’s Board of Directors.
OLIVER LARIC, Artist
In his artistic practice, Oliver Laric (Innsbruck, 1981, lives and works in Berlin) explores themes such as hybridity, authorship and authenticity. Working across video, 3D-printed sculpture and installation art, Laric’s artwork demonstrates the ways in which imagery has been (re-)used throughout time, and remains available – to be recycled, over and over, in inventive and contemporary ways.