Opens HyperVenezia: thousands of photos, a specific site map and a video installation as an ode to Venice 1600 years 

8 September 2021

Venice, 3 September 2021 – Palazzo Grassi’s first floor changes its face and celebrates Venice's birthday. It opens tomorrow on Sunday 5th September at Palazzo Grassi, the exhibition HyperVenezia”, an event entirely dedicated to the city of Venice on the occasion of the celebrations for its 1600 years, which for the first time presents to the public the ambitious “Venice Urban Photo Project”, conceived and created by Mario Peliti. Curated by Matthieu Humrey, conservator for the Pinault Collection, an initiative that propose an immersive path around three installations: 400 photos that traces an itinerary along the Venetian sestieri, a specific site map of the city - made up by a 900-image mosaic which offer an overview of the city - and a video installation of over 3,000 photographs that run accompanied by a new musical composition, made for the occasion by the well-known musician and composer Nicolas Godin, member of the duo of electronic music "Air".

“Venice Urban Photo Project”, which was first developed on film whilst since 2013 has been digitally available, is a project that retrieves and applies the techniques used by masters of photography in their campaigns between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – from Charles Marville and Eugène Atget to Gabriele Basilico and John Davies – in order to recreate the perception of the city as it used to look at the beginning of the new millennium. In 2006, Peliti began to systematically map the city of Venice with its photographs, with the aim of collecting the greatest image archive of the city that has ever been created. Moreover, it aims at providing an unrevealed representation of the Venetian urban structure as a whole. Currently, the photographic archive has more than 12.000 shots, each one of them in black and white and realized with the same light condition, without shades and, above all, without people around. These aspects, which are apparently not so relevant, actually guarantee a temporal unity to the perception of the city. The homogeneity of the lights allows every detail of the facades - including the least relevant - to be clearly visible, and the fact that there are no people around forces the observer to wonder how the future of the city will be: a city without citizens. At the same time, the silence that characterizes thousands of photos offers Venice the chance to show its urban and architectural structure. This archive’s peculiarity stands in its importance and consistency of the shooting methods, in addition to the continuous effort to deepen within the knowledge of the city by the author.

That’s why “HyperVenezia'' offers a radical visual experience: the Venice that we know disappears and lets another Venice, timeless and empty, emerge. The Serenissima, represented in its pure consistency, releases a strange and unsettling feeling, typical of cities left uninhabited. The conclusion of the photographic reconnaissance is scheduled for 2030. The exhibition will be displayed until January 9th, 2022. 

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