Venezia, the Works of Vedova in the new space created by Piano | Gavina Ciusa
Venezia, the Works of Vedova in the new space created by Piano
Gavina Ciusa   

Venezia, the Works of Vedova in the new space created by Piano | Gavina Ciusa
Magazzini del sale, Venezia. (foto M. Crosera)

Do not call it a museum. Do not give any definitions. Any term is inadequate to define the new art place wanted by the Foundation Emilio e Annabianca Vedova (1) containing the works of the Venetian Artist gone in 2006, a month after his wife. It is rather a singular place of mental and sentimental abandonment. A place of international gasp, of presence and co-presence, of choral and multidisciplinary work constituted by the Artist’s will, supported by the President of the Foundation Alfredo Bianchini, the scientist and artistic curator Germano Celant, the Director Fabrizio Gazzarri, the Mayor of Venice Massimo Cacciari, the City of Venice who has made available to the the former Salt Warehouse to the Foundation. First of the nine that in Venice follow the foundations of “those Zattere (2) – emphasizes Bianchini – where Vedova wanted to live with Annabianca for fifty years. And now he comes back with his Foundation to continue his dialectic relationship with the world from here.”

A revitalized place of the extraordinary architectural interpretation of Renzo Piano(3), assisted by Alessandro Traldi and Maurizio Milan. A place built in the name of a self-taught Master, sensitive to all arts. A unique place in the world, inaugurated and opened to the public simultaneously with the 53rd International Art Exhibition in Venice . A place that significantly supports the confrontation with that pole of innovation; as from the entrance, it welcomes the visitors of the Ponte di Calatrava ; with the Palazzo Grassi , with Ca’ Pesaro which reopens the second floor with a nucleus of work of an extraordinary importance in the history of arts of the City and the Country, like the giant frieze of Giulo Aristide Sartori - Ciclo della Vita (4) (240m2 of original symbolic sculptural painting in 14 panels with 128 figures “larger than life”, realised for the Pavilion of Italy of the 1907 Biennale); with the Peggy Guggenheim Museum; the Punta della Dogana ; with the Biennale’s venues.

Venezia, the Works of Vedova in the new space created by Piano | Gavina Ciusa
Plastico del progetto di Renzo Piano
Vedova had his studio at the Zattere situated at number 266, between the end of the 1960’s and the beginning of the 1970’s. He used to invite his friends and loads of times, Piano had heard him hypothesize solutions with regards to the moving of his works towards the entrance which was the only source of light. With this demand of mobility, his project gives an architectural interpretation that makes the yearned for dynamism affirmed the Master quite real. “My works are not creations but earthquakes, they are not frames but breaths”. “Earthquakes” and “breaths” that Piano brings out from the skeleton of the original structure hang from a machine that reminds those of Leonard da Vinci. They are animated by a sophisticated robotized device with mobile and swivelling arms, unique in kind, capable of bringing them out of their reserve, out of the dark deep Store.
Suspended to the latter, at different heights and inside the light fields, Vedova’s works slowly cover the old rafters and approach, one at a time, the visitor who waits them. The visitor can also approach by going over a tilted wooden deck that evokes a boat’s bridge. Afterwards, they return to the warehouse and are replaced by another series. This interaction between the works of art and the exhibition space go beyond the old concept of what a museum is. It’s like when Vedova, reminds us Celant, “…used to bring out the paintings and hang them on the wall and they used to accumulate giving a spectacular superposition effect. In fact, the project reconstructs this ritual for the public, [but] the paintings are shown one after the other, without any interference, animated by a certain movement, just as spectacular as if they were the “new hands” of Emilio who, without any effort, brings them on stage.”

Venezia, the Works of Vedova in the new space created by Piano | Gavina Ciusa
Spazio Vedova (Foto M. Crosera)
Even the catalogue defeats immobility as it is divided into two symmetric parts linked to each other by a pivot around which they turn providing twice the critical material and iconography dedicated to Vedova on the one hand and to Piano on the other. A real “worship” object accompanying the ten works exhibited each time; the other thirty are kept in the Store. These works are replaced by others in a cyclic manner alternately with three dimensional sculptures and art works which are put on the floor or on structures which are superposed on the tiled ground. Moreover, the temporary exhibitions of artists coeval to Vedova will dialogue with him. Projects to become that will not fail to impress.
One of them was proposed by the President Bianchini who has already conducted a study and evaluation of Vedova’s Works on the occasion of important exhibitions organised in Rome, Venise and Berlin which brings this first phase of the activity to an end. The President’s new idea to offer the Fine Arts Academy students this long and narrow six metres by nine alley as place of reference for their pictorial research. Between empty walls, free to sweat cum grano salis, we have the strong feeling of assisting to the birth of the real avant-garde of the years 2000.

1) Emilio Vedova (August 9th, 1919 − October 25th, 2006) was an Italian modern painter, considered one of the most important to emerge in his country's artistic scene after World War II.
2) A wide waterfront promenade in Venice
3) Renzo Piano (born on the 14th September, 1937) is a world renowned Italian architect and recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize and the Sonning Prize.
4) Cycle of life

Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova

Curator, Germano Celant
Architectural project: Renzo Piano
Magazzini del Sale, Zattere Dorsoduro 266 - 30123 Venezia
Permanent exhibition open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30am until 6:30pm.
Catalogue: Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova
Info: 041.5226626
Gavina Ciusa
Translated by Elizabeth Grech