Vanishing Valletta: The Definitive Collection 1982 – 2011
Photography by David Pisani
In 1982 artist photographer David Pisani embarked on a personal project to document the city of Valletta and the surrounding harbour area with an emphasis on the socially deprived periphery of Valletta and the infamous red light district of Strait Street which he regularly frequented. What started as a photo essay of the derelict buildings of the city and the dwindling activity in Strait Street would evolve into an epic documentation of Valletta spanning 29 years.
The collection consists of 192 images selected from thousands of negatives and was in part first exhibited in the Biennale of Photography in Paris (Mois de la Photo) in 1996 under the title La Valette et le Grand Port – Portrait d’une Capitale Maritime. In June 2000 the Bibliothèque Nationale de France acquired a selection of original prints for its permanent collections.
All the photographs in this collection are fine art silver gelatin printed from the original negatives by the photographer.
In 2019 the Vanishing Valletta collection, including all the original negatives and vintage prints will be archived in France.
David Pisani is a photographer and exhibiting artist. His photographic work can be summed up as a relentless pursuit of the sublime and the erotic. Pisani’s earliest works (c. 1980’s) already showed a deep concern with the representation of the female body, the erotic nature of places and the inevitable association to decay and death; themes which are consistently present in all his work.
The link between decay and architecture is most evident in his photographic essay on the city of Valletta and the red-light district of Strait Street entitled ‘Vanishing Valletta’ which was first exhibited in Paris in 1996 during the Biennale of photography: Mois de la Photo à Paris under the title “La Valette et le Grand Port – Portrait d’une Capitale Maritime”. In the year 2000 a selection of the Vanishing Valletta archive was included in the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Pisani has also produced photo essays on the city of Dubai, the conflict zones in Cyprus and the city of Kyoto in Japan.
In 1998 David Pisani returned to the theme of the body with a more explicit treatment of the themes of sex, decay and death and produced a seminal body of work entitled “EVERY-BODY” developing a unique photographic process that causes the image to alter itself over time as does the human body that grows old, dies and decays.
He is a fanatical darkroom printer with more than 25 years experience in commercial and fine art printing.
Hard-bound monograph, 194 pages, 33 x 32cm, 192 duotone reproductions, Introduction by Raphael Vella
Partners and sponsors
European Capital of Culture joint event, Pafos 2017 and Valletta 2018, SO Galerie, ZEturf, Computime Ltd, Express Group, APS Bank, Corinthia Hotels
Official site: www.vanishingvalletta.com
Spazju Kreattiv, St. James Cavalier, Spaces C1-C4 (upper galleries)
Pjazza Kastilja, Pope Pius V Street, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1030, Malta
December 21, 2018 to January 27, 2019