Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rivus Altus - Max Farina Shoots the Rialto Bridge

Max Farina at Work
(Venice, Italy) It was natural that a photography exhibition called "Rivus Altus" would catch my eye. Rivus Altus, or Rivo Alto, means "high bank," a cluster of islands that would eventually become the center of the Republic of Venice. Rivo Alto morphed into Rialto, the commercial center of Venice. At that location on the Grand Canal, the Venetians would go on to build one of the most famous stone structures in the world, the Rialto Bridge, completed in 1591.

In the 21st Century, the top of the Rialto Bridge became photographer Max Farina's office for two years.

RIVUS ALTUS - 10,000 Visual Fragments from the Rialto Bridge in Venice is the result of that labor of love, with much of the funds coming from Kickstarter.

In 2013 and 2014, Massimiliano Farina, architect and photographer from Milan, traveled every month to Venice and set up his outdoor office at the top of the Rialto Bridge, capturing the collective urge of humanity to take a photo from the famous location, as well as the panoramic view itself. The Rivus Altus project is a dialogue between the Panorama and its Observers.

The Observers
From the same position, day and night, for 264 shooting hours, Max photographed the "Rialto People." Using two cameras joined by a metal clamp, he simultaneously photographed the same subject and scene using two different zooms, techniques, movements and time exposures, depicting 15,963 people. The fragments were linked in diptychs, and printed in black and white.

Cat Bauer in front of the Rivus Altus panorama - Photo: Max Farina
Cat Bauer in front of the Rivus Altus panorama - Photo: Max Farina
During the same time period, Max clicked thousands of photos of the Grand Canal from the top of the Rialto Bridge. He chose 78 of those fragments to create a colorful wall of photos on pads of photo paper, seven meters long. That wall of photos, an enormous panorama of Rialto, is the focus of the Rivus Altus exhibition. Visitors are invited to rip off the top photo of any of the 78 fragments -- like ripping the top sheet of paper off a pad -- revealing a different angle of the same shot underneath, and creating a constantly changing panorama.

Cat Bauer - Rialto apartment
As you regular readers know, my beleaguered apartment is located right on the Grand Canal at the Rialto Bridge, and, sure enough, Max had photographed it every month for two years. I flipped through all the photos, hoping that Max had caught a significant moment in the Battle for the Heart of Rialto. Unfortunately, nothing special was going on during that time; it was closed and shuttered in every photo. I told him that it was too bad he hadn't started shooting in 2009 or 2010 because he would have captured quite a lot of excitement!

The Last Supper - Boga Foundation
In addition to Max's photos, the Boga Foundation has collaborated with a series of Homini sculptures, including The Last Supper. Two works from the Foundation's collection by the renowned Swiss artist, Alberto Giacometti, are also presented as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of his death.

Another element of the exhibition is the sound installation designed by Giampiero Sanzari. The bells chiming in the distance from Piazza San Marco, a vaporetto grinding to a halt at the Rialto stop, the roar of the tourists, the calls of the gondoliers, the water lapping on the Grand Canal -- all the cacophony that is the background music of the Rialto Bridge -- adds a deeper dimension.

Photographer Max Farina at Rivus Altus
The top of the Rialto Bridge is one of the points on the planet where humanity pauses to snap a photo and record its presence. Max Farino takes that experience to a higher level, and records humanity in the act of recording itself.

I thought Rivus Altus was totally cool.

Rivus Altus- 10,000 Visual Fragments from the Rialto Bridge in Venice
Photography project by Max Farina
Through November 27, 2016
10am to 7pm
Free Admission
Cultural Center Don Orione Artigianeli
Zattere - Dorsoduro, 909/A

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. In the 21st Century, the top of the Rialto Bridge became photographer Max Farina's office for two years.