THE ARCHETYPE SERIES
Valletta Contemporary, Valletta, Malta
Curated by Ann Dingli
The Archetype Series is a fifteen-piece collection of diminutive, architectural structures, each built from four-sided measuring rulers that are conventionally used in construction-based activity. The series’ point of departure is the object itself, using the ruler as a foundational element in the creation of Attard’s ‘archetypes’. Each of the fifteen is presented as a vessel for wider social, cultural, political and mythological commentary. With each singular structure, Attard’s forms unlock ideas around a broad range of subject-matter – from the poetics of geometry to the transcendence of nature, the inescapability of pop cultural iconography, and the bleeding relationship between low and high culture. The series’ commonality lies in its offering of symbols, or ‘archetypes’, as custodians of deeper meaning. The series finds lineage in the practice of Found Object Art or objet trouvé, with strong links to Symbolist, Minimalist and Conceptual Art canons. It begins with the structures – bold, black objects that are either hung or free-standing. On a formal level, they reflect the influence of Attard’s architectural background. Each holds the same balance, proportionality, and physical soundness required for a building to stand up. When mounted, they take on the architectonic visuality of buildings in elevation. Collectively, they are a landscape of miniature, metal monuments. Unlike full-scale architecture, the archetype structures are divorced from any determined setting. In a similar way to how the Minimalist works of Donald Judd performed in the 1960s, Attard’s archetypes call on the space around them to add to the impact of how they are read, received and interpreted.