The work of art developed as a personal experience in the fall of 2019. While her inhabitants prepared as best... Read More
The work of art developed as a personal experience in the fall of 2019. While her inhabitants prepared as best they could for the uncharacteristically high tide that was predicted that night, the city of Venice was hit by a record level of flooding throughout the evening of November 12, 2019, where the seawater reached up to 187 cm above its usual mark in the lagoon. The violent storm and flooding pervaded through all of historic Venice, leveling construction projects, the city’s food industry, library archives, and Museum collections. Neighborhoods teeming with small local storefronts were ended overnight.
The painting ‘Der Canale Grande’ by Friedrich Nerly was completed in 1840, and it is a view of the esthetic and everlasting beauty from Accademia Bridge. Yet now, what is represented in the puzzle starts to only make sense by contrast, in the mind of the artist. As the situation is reversed between nature, the lagoon, and her city, Venice, so too is the puzzle composition marked by this historical event. 187 pieces total were removed by the painting, alluding to the water level of November 12. For each centimeter of water there corresponds a subtracted puzzle piece. First to be removed were the human figures in ‘Der Canal Grande’, as visiting inhabitants abandoned the city. This was followed by a slower deconstructing of the building facades, and cupola of the Salute. The artist denounces the two foremost problems affecting the city of Venice: the desertion of the city in times of strife by inhabitants, and political desertion regarding the Mose speculation over many years, a system that was meant to protect the city from exceptional tides like the one of 2019, and instead has been at the center of corruption and political scandals over the past 10 years.