Spending time in Piazza San Marco, my way
July 9, 2021
If you are in Venice before the 15th of August and are into art, make sure you visit the exhibition 'The Silent Glow' with works by Gottfried Helnwein at Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (entrance from Museo Correr).
What I am sharing in this post, is a mix of pictures I took in Piazza San Marco one early morning when I was too tired to go jogging, and some images from the exhibit, with the hope of making you feel a little closer to Venice.
Piazza San Marco should possibly be photographed between dusk and dawn. Dawn may be a little more complicated because of how the light changes: from the beautiful pink and orange shades, you pass to the harsher daylight, which I find a bit boring, especially in summer. At dusk, you still start with the warmer orange tones, but then you gradually move to the colder blue tones that lead into the night, which have a magic ‘drama’ all of their own.
Museo Correr, as you know, is located in Piazza San Marco, where once upon a time stood the Church of San Geminiano, demolished in 1807 to make way for the Napoleonic wing of the Procuratie, with the emperor’s much wanted ballroom. The ticket grants you access to the museum and to the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, the library, where Helnwein’s exhibition is.
Gottefried Helnwein is an Austrian-Irish visual artist whose work deals mainly with political, sociological and psychological issues and has at the centre the human condition. The image of the child dominates his imagery, often a wounded and suffering child, petrified, whose innocence is counter-posed to the consequences of the injustice of war and needs protection.
Helnwein’s brush brings to light hyper-realistic bandages and bleedings, big eyes staring at us, or arms holding heavy rifles, putting us in front of the condition of having to decide whether to do or not to do something (or anyway, this is what it evoked in me).
His work also refers to recent historical facts, like Nazism and the disgrace that was the Holocaust, and he is sometimes considered to be a controversial artist. He puts on stage fictional characters like Mickey Mouse, or other Disney or manga cartoons. The intensity of his paintings and photographs is extreme, and the dark and perfectly illuminated setting make the experience very involving.
In Venice, until August 15, a selection of eleven works displayed in the Sala Sansoviniana. I cannot but recommend it.
For opening times and ticket information, go to visitmuve.it