A che ora chiude Venezia
2015 – 2016
What is the city but the people.
True. The people are the city.
Coriolanus, W. Shakespeare
Venice the city is open 24/7, bettering Disneyland as the always-on amusement park, ready to be brought back home in trinkets and pictures, ready to offer boutique hotels, pizza slices and kebabs. Churches readily dispense entrance tickets, gondolas their musical rides, and bridges are belvederes to snap made-in-China carnival masks. And, as in amusement parks the world over, at sunset you can hear the question buzzing in everyone’s mind: A che ora chiude Venezia? (what are the opening hours? At what time does everything close?)
So, what happens to a city that has his inhabitants vacuumed out, and is injected with tourists? What is left of the public spaces? And what about the private, if houses are homes no more?
Venice is at the fighting line of Europe’s displaced cities, of layered and historical communities whose centers have been joyfully popped out under the pressure of mobile wealth. Living cities that then become museums, shopping malls, grand hotels, and plastic mementoes.
Capturing this transformation will capture the future of all our cities. This is why I choose this photographic way to try to unveil the face behind the mask. A pictures pictorial still life that explores the city, backdrop to a reality that morphs into theatrical representation, all shot on film, medium format. Since the consumption of a city takes also place today through the predatory capture of digital images, shooting on film reestablishes a mental and physical attitude of slowness, a reflective and instinctual vision, embracing the time, research and effort needed to immerse oneself into this displacement.