Opening: Tuesday 6 September, 6pm-9pm
Renato D’Agostin returns to his Venetian roots and changes scale. The Italian artist unveils a new body of works which focusses on the founding elements of the Serenissima, water and wood, in a unique and powerful installation made of large format silver gelatin prints, sculpture, video installation and wooden imprints on paper. A must see!
Where does Venice come from? How and why does it exist? What is its true origin, even before it came into the world? It all started with this fundamental element: water. Along with the need to control this natural element came the necessity to domesticate wood. Water and wood provided the unique combination that allowed Venice to become the well-known Serenissima. Venice would not have come into existence if the Venetians had not manipulated these two elements, bringing the lagoon and the mountains to its North and beyond into mutual dependence, make water and wood live together.
In this lagoon, they had to replant a whole forest, sometimes invisible and yet very present, indispensable. Several million wooden posts, a few metres long, are buried in the ground as foundations, or, for those that emerge above the water, serve as landmarks for navigation. Since the birth of the city, the builders have watched over, monitored and regularly replaced these markers. And Renato D’Agostin started his Venetian project by scanning the surface of the lagoon in search of these precious reflections.
The artist captures both elements in his photography, fixing a spark of light at the moment when static and dynamic interact. Renato D’Agostin unites these two elements, finding that shimmer of light in a reflection where the static and dynamic interact. In this series, the photographer seeks to capture the unpredictable, aiming at generating a controlled chaos of form that can only exist when the two elements in question come into contact in the lagoon. Sometimes the patterns that emerge resemble wood veins; sometimes the reflected wood suggests a landscape of islands in the lagoonor evoke Venetian glassware.
Like a Parisian echo to the Venice Biennale, the exhibition places emphasis on dreams and imagination. It provides another vision of Venice, abstract in its most concrete aspects.
The works presented, the result of long hours of wandering along the banks of the lagoon city between 2019 and 2022, are very large format silver prints of these abstract aquatic forms, to which respond, as Le Corbusier used to do on concrete, the imprint of wood veins left on photographic paper. A large sculpture, immersed in a basin like a milestone as well as a video installation complete the show and offers visitors a new reflection of the world, a return to the sources.
An eternal return. Veni Etiam.