Venice Lightboxes

2000, black & white cibachrome in lightbox, 110 x 150 x 20 cm

The idea to make night and morning photographs in Venice was developed half a year after finishing two nocturnal landscapes shot at the Hautes Fagnes in Belgium. Thanks to its particular urbanistic structure with channels giving to wide open expanses of water, Venice is only partially and dimly lit at night. Looking upon the opposite riverbank you will see at most a lit tower, pier or monument. The horizon shows itself as a dark mass against an open sky. In the daytime (during the summer) the situation is exactly the opposite: the sunlight is reflected by the water on the buildings, colours become more intense in the almost blinding light, the baroque architecture becomes almost weightless, in contrast to the nocturnal circumstances.

The shots were made using a special camera used for architectural photography, between 4 and 6 am, or just before or after sunset. Four images were selected. The architecture is presented as a frontal monument, but a distance is created by the water in the foreground functioning as a gap between spectator and monument.


David Claerbout ©2021