MELISSA ONG KAI YI
ZHU SHENG BU WEI
“Is Venice dying? Or is it already dead?”Venice, an Odyssey (Robbins, 2020)
The answer to the question above determines how one should react to changes in Venice – changes that threaten Venice’s very existence. Either one position would also raise more questions which reveals different possible perspectives that will inform these changes. A multiplicity of perspectives is also captured in the very same book by Neal Robbins, Venice, an Odyssey (2020, Local Secrets) Venice and Death is a multimedia project that leverages on the different qualities of each particular medium to create a more inclusive depiction of Venice.
The project utilises Dante’s Inferno to frame critical global issues in the context of Venice’s impending demise. It is further inspired by Wolfang Scheppe’s Migropolis (2016, Hatje Cantz) and Bernard Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcript (1981, Academy Editions) which both make use of multi representation, notation and spatial references. The project has three main separate categories of representation that can be understood in a linear or weaving manner: Database, Collages and Manifestations.
The Database category consists of references from Venice’s past and present. The Collage category offers refinement and synthesis of Dante’s Nine Circle of Hell with contemporary Venice and beyond serving as the context. Inspired by Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), the third category consists of architectural Manifestations where both large or subtle structures exist within the urban fabric of Venice. The third category is
represented in two scales – the urban and the human, both of which have its own merits.
In line with Penelope Haramlambidou’s The allegorical project: Architecture as figurative theory (2007), Venice and Death as a whole seeks to create discourse on the multitude of issues that appear to be pushing Venice to its inevitable end. The discourse is further facilitated by the format of the project where the viewers are able to create their own narratives and meanings from the different elements curated in the project.
Calvino, I., Weaver, W., & Calvino, I. (1974). Invisible cities. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Haralambidou, P. (2007). The allegorical project: Architecture as figurative theory.
Robbins, N. (2020). Venice, an Odyssey: Hope and Anger in the Iconic City. Local Secrets.
Scheppe, W., Vettese, A., Agamben, G., & Burgio, V. (2016). Migropolis: Venice: Atlas of a global situation (Vol. I & II). Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz.
Tschumi, B. (1981). The Manhattan transcripts. London: Academy Editions
Adobe Premiere Pro