The three small oil paintings by Darren Tanti that are featured in the exhibition Time, Space, Existence in Palazzo Mora as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, form part of an installation called Valletta 2225, a Triptych that features three projects by AP where objects of varying scale (the sixty metre-high free-standing Barrakka Lift, a double helix wooden staircase in an old house on St Barbara’s Bastion and an origami-shape cupboard in a Victorian house in London) are inserted in existing spaces to requalify the qualities and experience of the latter.
Together with three video-essays depicting these projects, Darren’s paintings record transitory moments of architecture, those ephemeral moments when the building gets utilized not in predetermined, but in unorthodox, ways by the user, or the public in general. The narratives that are generated by works of architecture are often absorbed by the collective memory of the local population to become communal or family legends informing the identity of the community itself.
The mythologies which are thus created sometimes find their material expression in paintings such as these which resonate, as part of this installation, with the moving images caught on film. In accordance with Darren’s artistic vision, both contemporary and traditional art media here provide a platform for the epiphany of the existence of lives unfolding the shadow of these recent constructions.
With this in mind, these three paintings were conceived as objects stemming from the life of the buildings that they depict, projecting it into domestic interiors, galleries, cabinets of curiosities and other depositories of memory.
Time is encapsulated in the paintings themselves and the identity of the spaces depicted is transformed through the filter of our own individual existence.
Writing by Konrad Buhagiar (2017)