Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Too Many Events! Venice gears up for La Biennale Architecture 2018

FT Live: Alberto Galassi (Ferretti), Edoardo Caovilla (René Caovilla), Marcantonio Brandolini D’Adda (Laguna B) & Mickey Riad (Fortuny)
(Venice, Italy) These days, Venice, once the Queen of the Adriatic, is a small, provincial town of a little more than 50,000 residents with millions of global visitors. It's an odd mix. Toss the contemporary world of La Biennale into Venice's Gothic and Renaissance backdrop, and you get a surreal experience. In the lead-up to La Biennale Architecture Exhibition, every organization in the city shifts into high-gear, and one can become dizzy trying to get a taste of everything that's going on.

A Biennale for all the senses by Cat Bauer for LUXOS Magazine
Because I've been a contributing editor for LUXOS Magazine for the past couple of years, I was interested in attending the FT Live Business of Luxury Summit on Monday and Tuesday at the Molino Stucky Hilton. Years ago, in 2008, the Financial Times featured my Venice blog in its Weekend Magazine back when hardly anyone knew what a blog was, so the FT has a special place in my heart.

Walking into the Hilton is like walking into an airport in the middle of an ancient, watery world where cars do not exist. It is a time warp.

Luxury has grown into a $2.1 trillion industry. I was only planning to stay to catch the "Venice and the Luxury Renaissance" panel, but I had such a good time chatting with creatures from the outside world, and learned so much, that I stayed all day. My take-away: there is a lot money floating around that nobody knows what to do with. Suggestion: get down in the trenches and talk to the artisans. Quality, not quantity. And Quality takes Time.

Paolo Lorenzoni & Toto Bergamo Rossi in the Hemingway Suite at the Gritti Palace
Tuesday morning kicked off in a dash through the pouring rain to coffee at the Gritti Palace Hotel, where Paolo Lorenzoni, the Gritti's General Manager, and Toto Bergamo Rossi, the Director of Venetian Heritage, a non-profit that is dedicated to preserving the culture of Venice, held an intimate conference. Venetian Heritage has provided a preview of its glamorous goings-on: 
  • the presentation of the book "The Art of living in Venice. Architecture and cuisine "Toto Bergamo Rossi and Lydia Fasoli to be held at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Thursday, May 25 from 18.30 to 20.00;
  • the inauguration of the exhibition dedicated to the '900' Barry Friedman & Glass Collection Venetian Heritage "to be held at the Museum of Murano glass, Friday, May 25 at 18.30;
  • Saturday, May 26 at 20:30 will be the Gala fundraising organized by Venetian Heritage in collaboration with The Gritti Palace Hotel with guests including 200 supporters of Venetian Heritage. The donation for participation per person is € 1.000,00. The event is sold out. The seats available were 200. Many corporate supporters who have purchased tables (€ 10,000.00 per table) are: Louis Vuitton, the Acquera Tositti Group, Generali, Michelangelo Foundation, Colnaghi, Tommy Hilfigher, Venini. The Lunelli Family, owners of the famous sparkling wine Ferrari Trento, will offer, as always, their fine wines. The funds raised will be donated to the Monumental Staircase restoration of the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista. The evening will continue at the Hotel Gritti Palace after dinner.
Palazzo Ferro-Fini Venice
I have lived in Venice for 20 years and have never been inside Palazzo Ferro Fini, headquarters for the Consiglio Regionale del Veneto, the Parliament of the Veneto. I never realized that the Veneto, one of the 20 regions of Italy, had its own parliament. But of course they do, because a region is of kind of like a US state. However, I am still confused because Luca Zaia, who would be sort of like the governor, has a different palace, Palazzo Balbi, across the canal for his headquarters, and the president of the parliament inside Palazzo Ferro-Fini is Roberto Ciambetti, with his own powers.

I got a brief political lesson from a gentleman who worked inside. If I understood correctly, most of the power controlling the problems of Venice (mass tourism, cruise ships, etc.) comes from Rome, not Venice or the Veneto. Well, Italy just threw Europe into chaos by creating an anti-establishment government. We shall see what happens next.

Nancy Genn in Venice - Photo: Cat Bauer
In any event, I was invited to Palazzo Ferro Fini because Nancy Genn, who is a lovely American artist, has an exhibition inside, and said she felt fortunate to have been able to live "a life well spent." How an American from the San Francisco area landed inside a Venetian palace on the Grand Canal is worth an entire post in itself. What is important is that you have the rare opportunity to visit a palace for free that is rarely opened to the public, and to see Nancy's work. The exhibition "Architecture from Within" is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 until August 7, 2018. Be prepared to leave your passport at the door.

Maria Novella dei Carraresi - Photo: Cat Bauer
Maria Novella dei Carraresi, Renaissance woman, has a funky gallery close to the Accademia Bridge on the Dorsoduro side, Rio Terà della Carità 1046. Check it out.

Elena Veronese at Ikona Gallery - Photo: Cat Bauer
Hospital Poetry at the Ikona Gallery in Campo del Ghetto Nuovo is Elena Veronese's dynamic first solo exhibition. Temporarily paralyzed in Berlin, the Venetian artist photographed her experience on the road to recovery in order to self-heal, and to help others.

Renzo Piano. Progetti d'Acqua - Photo: Cat Bauer
On Wednesday, even Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, showed up, along with the rest of the city, for the inauguration of the Renzo Piano. Progetti d'Acqua exhibition at Spazio Vedova, Zattere 50. The exhibition will run through the entire Biennale Architecture exhibition, until November 25, 2018.

The preview for FREESPACE, the16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia starts tomorrow. The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, May 26 and runs through November 25, 2018. Go to La Biennale for more information.

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

1 comment:

  1. These days, Venice, once the Queen of the Adriatic, is a small, provincial town of a little more than 50,000 residents with millions of global visitors. It's an odd mix. Toss the contemporary world of La Biennale into Venice's Gothic and Renaissance backdrop, and you get a surreal experience.

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Ciao from Venice,
Cat