Laila Hida – The long and slow decay of things – Valletta Design Cluster – Transformer (2017–2018)

Laila Hida – The long and slow decay of things – Valletta Design Cluster

Laila Hida – The long and slow decay of things

The long and slow decay of things

The Long and Slow Decay of Things explores the passage of time, through forgotten objects found in the ancient abattoirs of Valletta. Objects standing the test of time, objects seemingly without a value, abandoned, forgotten, without utility, voted to be thrown away and replaced by the novel, by the modern. The transformation of the whole. The ineluctable transformation of things. Those decaying and those to be replaced, under a disarmed and helpless gaze. A suspended instant that suggests to look neither backward nor forward, only in front of us. This slow and infinite process of the decrepitude of things.

A curtain found in one of the rooms of the former abattoirs testified the reappropriation of the place by people, individuals and families that had occupied the building for years transforming it into their home. A precarious one, an ephemeral one as, as the curtain itself, this would also eventually disappear in the incessant process of social and spatial renovation.

The light, semi-transparent lace curtain hanging, juxtaposed and caressing, on the outside wall of the old Abattoirs, a wall of centuries-old Maltese stones still resisting the test of time, is a way to evoke the very fragile state of things and beings.

Moreover, the installation  both embodies and subtlety questions the cultural identity and aesthetics that emerge from the city of Valletta. In the process of installing it, a ceremonious atmosphere unveiled as the curtain, surmounted by a representation of the Vergine, smoothly unfolded on the facade of the abattoirs, partly covering the public fountain lying behind it. Somehow also a recall of the fervor that characterises the city.

Valletta Design Cluster

Water Fountain

The Valletta Design Cluster offers an environment and framework for the support and

promotion of design activity in Malta. The Valletta Design Cluster offers emerging and established designers and firms from the broad field of design a shared and dedicated space for working, learning, collaboration, innovation and mentorship. It also defends and promotes design as a driving force for economic and social value in Malta and abroad.

As a national institution, the Valletta Design Cluster promotes: the visibility of design and the design sector in Malta; the strategic value of design for economic competitiveness; the social value of design and its ability to improve quality of life for communities and individuals; the internationalisation and attraction of talent and investment to Malta’s design sector; the global export of products and services designed in Malta; cooperation and collaboration between designers and public administration, policy makers, businesses, researchers, institutions and NGO’s; knowledge transfer and support to enrich the professional skills of designers and design agencies while promoting high professional standards; and design education between and within communities.

Opening times

Valletta Design Cluster, Gendus, Valletta
8 September – 14 October

Entry is free and the work is visible at all times of the day.