Venice
two journeys, some images and a reflection, June and October 2007
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I always find Venice a bit melancholic. Silently sinking, slowly decomposing. I keep thinking that the city is like a theatre stage. Dreamlike with its gothic, renaissance, barock facades and quiet, abadoned piazzas. In the evening it gets a little spooky. Empty palaces. Dark windows. Only here and there you see a light from the inside. Some people are still living here. It´s obvious In the daylight when you see the clotheslines going from one house to another, across the narrow streets. The inhabitants displaying their most intimate garments. As they want to emphasize "we are here! "

One day sitting at a bar at the quay of Zattere I overhear a talk between two American young men.
They talk about Iraq, and appearently one of them had served as a soldier there.
I admit I was eavesdropping. Maybe a bad habit, but a quite interesting one. Though fragments of the talk were drowned by the boats passing.

   

Right before we were flying out, the base got attacked. I was just like...you know... do what I was doing, you know.
They told me my arm was just bruised, and I couldn´t rotate it all the way
–I´m sorry I ask you all these questions but I...you don´t have to...
–It´s okey I know I had to have that kind of questions. But it´s hard. Specially when I have questions like: Why did you join? I mean, I don´t know why people are killing, Have I killed someone?
–It´s... it´s a question I...I ...I never asked you...still wanted to

I look across the water. Il Redentore, Palladios masterpiece catches my eye. Bright white. Venice is shadow and light, full of beauty and the past. Well kept, almost intact, saved for the future so we can be contemporary with the history for a moment.
I think of Baghdad, Beirut, Sarajevo, Grozny, Guernica, Hiroshima...cities meaningless destroyed, devastated.

and some favourites from the Biennal:
Sofie Calle, Gabriele Basilico, Emily Jacir, Tracy Emin, The African pavillion, Joseph Kosuth, Dan Perjovschi,
Nancy Spero, Chiesa di San Stae, Kara Walker