Upon my arrival in Venice, I was immediately struck by its overwhelming verticality: a city rising out of the sea and into the sky, reflective and borderless; a dizzying display of stacked visual information. As I oriented and found my bearings, I thought about my dependency on the horizon for interpreting space, and the symbolic importance of the iconic horizon in the American landscape. I found myself searching for a familiar horizontal band by which to decipher this new waterscape. My eyes settled on the bright green horizon, etched into ancient stone and wood throughout the city, that indicates the waterline with algae growth. This line marks the place where the terrestrial and aquatic worlds meet, representing the physical demarcation between wet and dry; high and low; and serves as a metaphor for the duality of the strength of the city’s foundations and the inherent fragility of the city and its lagoon, a place where the manmade environment and natural world converge.
In my installation, Bagnasciuga, I seek to evoke the perceptual experience of moving through Venice: of floating/shifting/swaying/gliding by recreating the green, horizontal band of the waterline through a series of three-dimensional collagraphs.