DIFESA DI VENEZIA
April 14, 2012 – May 25, 2012
Galerija Gregor Podnar/DUM Association is pleased to announce the opening of Difesa di Venezia, a second solo exhibition by Primož Bizjak at its Project Space in Ljubljana and a book publication with the same title, released this year.
‘Difesa di Venezia’ (‘The Defence of Venice’) is the first large publication by Primož Bizjak on a single theme: namely, he here turns his photographer’s eye on the vast number of military fortifications that were built in Venice during the past five hundred years of her complex history.
This work is based on Bizjak’s months of intensive research in the Venetian Lagoon in 2009, during which he produced hundreds of photographs that reveal his fascination with the beauty of the military passion for innovation. The sheer abundance of these fortifications is, among other things, an indication of the enduring show of strength in the defence of a city of such historical significance – a city that was forced to defend her glorious riches in ways that were no less abundantly creative, even if these riches were sometimes acquired in less glorious ways, for instance, by financing the Crusades nearly a thousand years ago.
The forty-five photographs presented in the publication are the result of a documentary starting point that in Bizjak’s work evolves into an almost static frozen portrayal of dilapidated transience. In place of any analytical dissection, his photographs (often through the use of long exposures that yield a kind of camera obscura effect) convey a strange, timeless stillness, bathed at times in a romantic light. In Ljubljana in the Difesa di Venezia exhibition a selection of six works from this series will be shown.
Difesa di Venezia grew out of an earlier series of photographs of Fort Marghera – a fort built in the Napoleonic era and a crucial part of Venice’s former system of fortifications. Bizjak made this series in 2006 at the invitation of the Marco Polo System EEIG and the Galleria Contemporaneo from Mestre and has been presented it the same year in Galerija Gregor Podnar in Ljubljana.
Andrea Bonifacio, who is part of the management of Fort Marghera, has underscored its significance: “The artist is one of very few people to have visited all the sites in the defensive network of Venice, if not the only one. There is no record of any other work that encompasses the entire system, which has largely been documented in its separate parts.”
Primož Bizjak (born 1976) lives and works in Madrid. Currently his work is on view also in the Caminar la Linea exhibition at Max Estrella in Madrid.
The project is supported by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Marco Polo System G.e.i.e. – Venezia, Cultural Department of the City of Ljubljana