Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Island of the Gods & The Last Venice - The Photography of Gotthard Schuh

Gotthard Schuh, Ragazzi in piazza San Marco, Venezia, 1963 © Gotthard Schuh / Fotostiftung Schweiz
(Venice, Italy) Gotthard Schuh (December 22, 1897, Berlin - December 29, 1969, Zürich) began his career as a painter, but as he approached the age of thirty, he became interested in photography, and we are fortunate that he did. Schuh had two wives and two families (not at the same time), and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 51, yet managed to capture magical images throughout Europe and the island of Bali until his death, one week after his 72nd birthday. 

The seven year old daughter of the prince of Saba gives dance class, Bali, 1938
© Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur
The Swiss Ambassador to Italy himself, Bernardino Regazzoni, was at the inauguration of the Gotthard Schuh photography exhibit here in Venice on March 22nd, which has been divided into two venues. Over at the Swiss Consulate, the exhibit concentrates on Schuh's 1938 photography in Bali titled L'isola degli dèi, or Island of the Gods. My paternal grandmother was of Swiss ancestry, so it was comforting to be surrounded by so many Swiss folks, who have their own special kind of energy. Amazingly, even though he was from another culture, Schuh captured the souls of the joyous island people of Bali, and offers a deep and personal view into their ceremonies and private lives.

Gotthard Schuh, Father & Son, Bali, 1938 © Gotthard Schuh / Fotostiftung Schweiz
At the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti at Palazzo Loredan, you will find L'Ultima Venezia, or The Last Venice, dedicated to Schuff's 1963 photos of Venice. I was moved by the vintage photos and how much of Venice remains eternally the same -- another group of islanders determined to preserve their way of life.


Gotthard Schuh, La vista dal Ponte dei Sospiri, Venezia, 1963 © Gotthard Schuh / Fotostiftung Schweiz
Gian Antonio Danieli, President of IVSLA, wrote in the Preface:

"...But Venice has demonstrated scores of times that it is capable of surviving the most ruinous tragedies and of transforming itself. Our vow is that in the midst of the great changes that characterize our age, Venice will once again prove able to transform itself, without, however, losing any of the extraordinary magic that has made it so greatly loved and celebrated over the centuries. Our hope is that Schuh's photos may enable us to rediscover some of that magic so that we can ensure it is not entirely lost."

Gotthard Schuh, Street of Water, Venezia, 1963 © Gotthard Schuh / Fotostiftung Schweiz
The exhibitions run daily 11am to 6pm through May 5, 2013, and admittance to both venues is free. In cooperation with the Museum of Culture, the City of Lugano, Switzerland.

Gotthard Schuh Fotografie
L'sola Degli Dèi
Fotografie. Bali. 1938
Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi
Campo Sant'Agnese

L'ultima Venezia
Fotografie. Venice. 1963.
Palazzo Loredan
Campo Santo Stefano

www.mcl.lugano.ch
www.istitutoveneto.it

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. Gotthard Schuh began his career as a painter, but as he approached the age of thirty, he became interested in photography, and we are fortunate that he did. Schuh had two wives and two families (not at the same time), and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 51, yet managed to capture magical images throughout Europe and the island of Bali until his death, one week after his 72nd birthday.

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