The Malta Independent 23 February 2020, Sunday

‘Parallel Existences’ - Exhibition by renowned photographer Alex Attard now open at Valletta Contemp

Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 09:28 Last update: about 2 years ago

Never-before-seen, irreparably-damaged documents at the Notarial Archives are brought back to life through the photographer’s lens.

Currently on show at Valletta Contemporary, Parallel Existences captures a priceless piece of Maltese history from artefacts at The Notarial Archives in Valletta. The Archives hold over 20,000 manuscripts that document many aspects of life from across six centuries of Maltese history. Over time, many of these precious documents have been damaged beyond recognition. They lie in a room on the top floor of the Archives known as the "crying room". 

Ignored for decades, these documents have now been given a new lease of life through this photography project by Alex Attard, in collaboration with the Notarial Archives Foundation. By creating a relationship between himself and the documents, Attard gives them a new reason for being - a "parallel existence". Attard believes the images will evoke in the viewer a sense of curiosity about their original purpose, while underscoring the importance of the Archives themselves.

Attard's photography is now also at the heart of the book Parallel Existences - The Notarial Archives: A Photographer's Inspiration published by Kite Group. In this publication, edited by Dr Joan Abela and Emanuel Buttigieg, photography, art and history interlace to weave a new tapestry held together by a common thread: the "fragments" found within the Archives.

'Parallel Existences' is now open at Valletta Contemporary (15, 16, 17 East Street, Valletta), until Saturday, 3 November. Opening hours: 11am-7pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays.  The project is supported by Arts Council Malta - Malta Arts Fund, Project Support Grant, GasanMamo Insurance, The Farsons Foundation and the French Embassy. Entrance is free. 

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