LARGER THAN LIFE
Against the austere, arched walls of St. James Cavalier, a sixteenth century military stronghold, the artist projected images from Mattia Preti, an exuberant Baroque painter who spent the last forty years of his life in Malta. Attard’s Baroque celebration reflects Malta’s aesthetic preference for an elaborate style that connects space and time. Cutting across time frames, the Baroque has left an indelible mark on Malta’s society and its imagination. The time-passage motif is accentuated by Attard’s creation of ‘routes’, transforming the severe vaults of the fortress building into ornate expressions responding to Baroque theatricality. At the end of the pathway, the artist installs a pendulum, a metaphor of abstract time that also “contradicts” spatial distance: the Baroque perception in Malta has no time-frames and it survives in the 21st century in religious ceremonial, village feasts, heavily decorated dwellings and band music. Moreover, on the pendulum-pan, Attard screens sequences from a Maltese wedding, an elaborate, flamboyant expression of popular culture that provides a contemporary link to the high Baroque fashion that dominated Malta and its islanders since the seventeenth century.
LARGER THAN LIFE I
9 slide projectors, 7m.high motorized pendulum, TV monitor, VHS video, 24 battery torches, candles, light. Re-Interpreting Preti, Curated by Dominic Cutajar, Adrian Bartolo and Theresa M. Vella.
Organised by the National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta.
St.James Cavalier, Valletta, Malta, 1999.
LARGER THAN LIFE II
4m.high motorized pendulum, monitor, video projector, 2 VHS players.
Larger than Life II, Curated by Adrian Bartolo.
48th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, 1999.