The view of the Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge is definitely one of the best-known images of Venice, the typical postcard image that countless tourists buy to send home or snap with their own cameras.
Milanese architect and photographer Massimiliano Farina photographed this famous view over the course of two years, at different times of day and different times of the year, totalling 11,354 shots, 264 hours of shooting and portraits of 15,963 people, making up the exhibition Rivus Altus, underway until November 27 in a beautiful medieval cloister in the centre of Venice.
The photographic project began with literary inspiration, with the concept of "stereotype" as a "simplified, widely shared vision of a place", and with an interesting quote from writer Predrag Matvejević, who says that “Venice has been buried under representations of itself”, so that people experience a sense of déjà-vu even when they see it for the first time, and “reality is overcome by its own representation”.
Along with pictures of the view from the bridge, the photographer and architect used a system of two cameras connected by a mechanical arm which took pictures almost simultaneously to capture passers-by, who appear in the exhibition as photographic diptychs in black and white, once again in dialogue with the place of interest to them.
The representation of the bridge that Massimiliano Farina offers the public in the exhibition is a photographic mosaic, a photo-wall made up of 78 fragments or blocks, each of which is printed with a photographic variant of that portion of the view. Every visitor will therefore discover new details and contribute to a continual reworking of the view of Rialto Bridge.
Title: “ RIVUS ALTUS – 10,000 visual fragments from Venice’s Rialto Bridge” by Massimiliano Farina
Location: Don Orione Artigianelli Cultural Centre, Venice
Images by Massimiliano Farina