Sunday, 15 November 2009
Gondola Ride: Since gondolas are one of the main symbols of Venice, I thought it would be worth it going for a ride. This enthusiastic gondolier who was eager to pose for any camera that flashed in front of him made this Venetian moment worthwhile.
Bridge of Sighs: Locally known as Ponte dei Sospiri, the bridge connects the old prisons to the Doge's palace. It is said that the name comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice out of the windows of the bridge, before being taken down to their cells. During my visit, the scaffolding of restoration works on the surrounding buildings were covered with advertisements. That and the transformation of the place between day and night made this a special Venetian moment to me.
Lightly Monumental at the Egyptian Pavilion. La Biennale di Venezia - Giardini della Biennale.
The Egyptian Pavilion was the climax of my quick expedition in the Venice Art Biennale. The pavilion contained the works of self-taught Egyptian artist Ahmad Askalany and Egyptian painter, who abandoned medicine for the sake of art, Adel El Siwi. Maie Yanni, a qualified doctor who currently manages art and design ventures and promotes unknown Sudanese artists to give them international recognition and visibility, describes the pavilion's experience beautifully in this article.
She says, "Upon stepping into the Pavilion the viewer is greeted by eight monumental figures by Askalany akin to deities welcoming us into a sacred temple... The temporal dimension is emphasized by the upward structural progression. Both sculptures and paintings are monumentally big and recall the "little people" who built gigantic and great things. Thousands of years on and these magnificent historical creations still watch over us unmoved by earthquakes and the tides of change."
Moonlight (Venice, March 10, 2009). La Biennale di Venezia - Arsenale.
Created by Spencer Finch, the American's "artworks attempt to re-create his subjective impressions and scientific observations of light and color. His works take many forms, but what unites them is an attempt to transpose culturally significant or privately important moments or sites to a gallery setting."
Querini Stampalia Foundation: I saved the best for last here. This building by Carlo Scarpa is one of the many buildings that I read and heard so much about and always wanted to visit. Even though I had high expectations of it because of all the hype, the building exceeded all my expectations and was an absolute delight and the highlight of my trip to Venice. The way Scarpa's new editions to the building comes so close yet always distinguished from the old structure was so detailed that made me walk the entire exhibition with a smile on my face. I don't remember I was ever so pleased with a building like this one. The pictures I saw of the building on books and magazines, even the ones I took don't give this magnificent building justice. I thought I'd post this picture of the steel gate anyway since it was the best picture I took of the building I guess.