Surface and Substance
Veneer and Core
Order and the Ad Hoc
Materiality and Abstraction
Sculpture and Craft
On a brief surgical insertion into Venice, I experienced a series of insights caused by unique circumstances of construction, wear, and environment.
Just as our culture prefers us to present a “finished” face in all elements of our personal and social lives, so do buildings. Looking up the skirt of a carefully composed building is often viewed as embarrassing and potentially illicit. However, in Venice, extreme conditions of weathering and antiquity have created layers upon layers of veneers over crafted cores of construction, veneers that have inevitably weathered away to reveal the original mindset of the their hosts’ construction, subsequent repairs and modifications which their perfected architectural forms strive so ardently to obscure and mask.
This is about inevitability.
This is about the futile human effort to be timeless that inevitably leads to the acknowledgement of change.
These images depict not only the pattern of craft, but the subsequent chaos of adaptation responding the natural world’s grinding impact on manmade constructs. As such, they are metaphors for our desire to control – an effort that is doomed to failure. Time is neither controlled nor ultimately accommodated by any of our acts. These images illuminate the fact that humanity continually strives, generation after generation, to dominate the indomitable, order the inorderable, and perfect the inherently chaotic.
These images have much to say about the futility of our desire to control, the nobility in our wish for perfection, and ultimately the folly in our belief that in some way the passage of time can be frozen, that the inevitability of change can be overcome by art or intelligence.
This article was originally published on duodickinson.com. See more of Duo’s Venice photos here.