October 21, 2021 — March 13, 2022
Taken over 20 years, this photographic series is a moody valentine to one of the most miraculous cities on Earth. Venice (Venezia in Italian) is a floating world that sits at the crossroads of the East and West.
While there are millions of travel photographs of Venice in existence, artist photographer Michael Kenna infuses his with distinct magic. Prowling the city while it sleeps, he shoots in black and white. His long, extended exposures drink in the electric lights and add a blurry quality at times, capturing the buoyancy of gondolas rocking gently on the water. Elsewhere, stone sculptures twist lithely in their architectural niches.
The canal is a central character in Kenna’s images. In one photo, the water appears to crawl up city steps. In many others, it atomizes, blanketing the city in a living mist.
In 2021, Venice hosted the International Conference on Environment and Climate Change, and as the Earth’s waters rise, this jewel is on the frontline of a global problem. Kenna alchemically reminds us of both time and place in these photographs, and indirectly, the city’s potentially perilous fate, a result of its own beloved waters.