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Drowning Cities: A Voyage to Venice on Junk Art Rafts

Drowning Cities: A Voyage to Venice on Junk Art Rafts

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Drowning Cities: A Voyage to Venice on Junk Art Rafts

Lunghezza:
54 pagine
29 minuti
Pubblicato:
Apr 21, 2014
ISBN:
9781310705533
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

In the summer of 2009 street artist Swoon and a crew of thirty collaborators assembled three sculputural art rafts out of junk and salvage and sailed them from Slovenia, across the Adriatic Sea to Venice. These are field notes from the final leg of the journey into Venice. The 'Swimming Cities of the Serenissima' succeeded where Napoleon and many others had failed: executing a sea invasion of Venice's famed Arsenale, once its warship-building heart, now site of the infamous Biennale art show. Like hallucinatory chunks of land floating out to sea, the Swimming Cities fleet embodied the idea that "anything that can be imagined can be built".

Pubblicato:
Apr 21, 2014
ISBN:
9781310705533
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

Drowning Cities - Katharine Ainger

Preface.

In the summer of 2009 street artist Swoon and a crew of thirty collaborators assembled three sculptural boats out of junk and salvage and sailed them from Karst in Slovenia, across the Adriatic Sea to Venice. This piece is from my field notes and reflections as I joined them on the final leg of their journey from the canals of the Veneto hinterland, back out into the Adriatic in the face of the fierce Bora winds, through the mouth of the Venice lagoon and into the city itself.

On their quixotic journey, the Swimming Cities of the Serenissima succeeded where Napoleon had failed: they executed a sea invasion of the city’s famed Arsenale, once its warship-building heart, now site of the Venice Biennale art show taking place that summer and whose theme was Making Worlds.

I originally wrote this piece almost five years ago; the observations about modern metropolises reclaimed by tide and mould that seemed like bold predictions at the time are now commonplace. Hurricane Sandy has already shown us the New York subway under water; and in November 2012, a month after that storm, 75 per cent of Venice was flooded. People swam in St Mark’s Square, tourists in bathing suits sat at submerged cafe tables, and it is said that rising seas may make the new flood barrier to the Venice lagoon planned to begin operation in 2015 obsolete within three years.

As climate change violently unmakes our world, the Swimming Cities boats, like cities of a broken civilisation mutated into strange new forms and hallucinated forth upon the sea, are a vision of a world remade in an image both timeless and utterly new and strange.

"Eustasy is what they call the global change of sea levels due to climate change;

here are three cities, half sinking, half swimming, between eustasy and ecstasy... "

Katharine Ainger, Barcelona, April 2014.

One.

Those that have navigated their way down Venice’s Gran Canal include:

A man with a dolphin on a leash, hawking for thrown coins.

A fascist Italian grandee back from conquering Abyssinia, travelling by gondola with a cheetah in the prow.

Townspeople on foot (in the 14th century, an earthquake swallowed up all the water for two weeks).

A Soviet submarine.

The Swimming Cities of Serenissima. (Three sculptural art rafts made of post-industrial salvage, defying the city authorities’ prohibition from

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