Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Venice, truth and illusion

Venice, Italy

Venice - one fish eating another?

What can I say that hasn't been said about Venice a million++ times? And, of the hundreds of photos I took of Venice, what can I post that isn't already a cliche? But we were there for the two weeks straddling July and August so, for my own record, I leave mention.

Merchant in Venice 1 - Venice shop, Italy
Merchant in Venice

For starters, I don't know which will destroy Venice first, sea rise due to human caused climate change or us humans tromping through it's crumbling maze. Beautiful, timeworn, sea-wrecked Venice.


Venice with cruise ship - Italy
Venice, Italy with cruise ship

It's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site yet is "close to losing its hallowed status in exchange for a place on the "In-Danger" list - a category normally reserved for war-ravaged ruins and dilapidated historical sites in Third World countries".

Venitian wall -  Italy
Venetian wall

What hope is there for poor Venice? I think of myself as fairly savvy about these things but still that didn't stop me from touching a brick in one of its ancient walls then being "startled" when red silt gushed from it like blood from a wound.

Asha - Venezia 2017
Damn.
I really am part of the problem.
photo by anonymous

Of course, like everyone else, we were put off by the hoards of other tourists. Some 70,000+ people pour into Venice daily even though it's more an apparition than a place. However, most are day trippers or cruise ship passengers there only for a few hours. The majority want to see the same things so, if you're willing to walk, you can explore Venice more or less on your own. That's what we did. It's what we always do.

Gondola tours - Venice Italy
Gondola jam

We did not take a gondola. It costs about €80 per boat ($95 US). At twilight, the price goes up to around €100. However, we did take the Grand Canal ferry. That cost us €7 each. Never mind we got on the wrong boat, an island hopper, and missed the canal altogether. We rode it to the end and hopped a return ferry which did go through the Grand Canal. I highly recommend it.

"Support" - 57th Venice Biennale, Italy
- Support -
Sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn
as seen from the ferry.
57th Venice Biennale

On our last two days there we attended the 57th Venice Biennale. Since it began in 1895, the venue has grown so huge, it is now more of an expedition into strange lands than anything resembling an "art show". The exhibits are organized by country and the two main locations alone house miles of art . . . installations, performance, cinema, music, spectacle from around the world.

Asha Venezia 2017 n
Roberto Cuoghi, The Imitation of Christ
photo: anonymous

Also, the grounds themselves are historic and fascinating. And, beyond the two main venues, small exhibitions are tucked into various buildings within the city maze. We stumbled onto a few but missed most.



Recorded in the Venice Arsenale.
I love the sound the old building makes.
video by anonymous

If you travel at all, are thinking of trying it out, are an artist, lover of art, lover of spectacle, a history buff or whatever, consider attending the next Biennale in 2019. I hope by then Venice will have established daily tourist caps. In any case, if you plan on going, plan ahead.

Gondola - Venice, Italy
Venice at twilight

More photos here.


2 comments:

Roy said...

Way to ruin a really old brick!

asha said...

You're right. I felt like a brick murderer. The centuries had reduced the poor old thing to powder but it was still hanging together until I touched it and its powdery red blood suddenly started draining away. I think a part of me feared the entire city of Venice would follow, draining away as I stood there stunned with my quivering red tipped finger still pointing where the brick had been. :(