What would the future hold for Venice without the passion, perseverance and initiatives of those aware of its imminent disappearance? Enlightened citizens of the world, patrons of the arts and philanthropists are tirelessly striving to restore and save the City of Venice, a heritage of humanity, from ecological, cultural and human erosion.
It is fantastic to be able to accept the invitation from the "Venice in Peril" Foundation to participate in a project in this unique city and join in this event alongside people and artists whose work I deeply admire.
I have had a long personal relationship with Venice. My Venetian friends have often offered me their hospitality during the now-familiar Redentore and Biennial and other celebrations. But when I arrive in Venice, I always see it through new eyes, as if for the very first time.
The idea of creating my own work in the lagoon and starting from scratch fascinated me. I have had to take other roads to reach its inhabitants and, trapped from the first moment by this human river, I asked myself, as Montesquieu did in his Lettres Persanes: “Comment peut-on être Vénitien?” The people, the human material present and constant from the start of my search, have once again helped to guide my steps and launch me on another fantastic, intimate adventure.
To experience Venice, share it, question it, leap from one scenario to another, to transgress and cross contemporary frontiers. There are still as many possible Venices as there are people and visions.
I have walked at all hours searching for open doors. I have allowed patience and impatience to carry me from the far bank of the Mestre and its gypsy settlements to monasteries on lost islands, from the Yeshiva of its old Ghetto, its ancient libraries, to the lobbies of the luxury hotels on the Grand Canal, fashionable clubs, and into the succession of sestieri of Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce and San Marcos in search of different human essences, anonymous beings from the fabric of today’s Venice. Here are the seven chosen faces, portraits, fragments of my vision and experience of walking through Venice.
To view the works of Pierre Gonnord please click here