Past Event

Elemental Venice

November 23, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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“Venice Rising” webinar series (third event)

Shaul Bassi (Center for the Humanities and Social Change, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) and Daniela Zyman (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary [TBA21], Vienna) talk with Jorge Otero-Pailos (GSAPP, Historic Preservation, Columbia University) in the third webinar in this series.

Focusing on two environmental initiatives recently inaugurated in Venice, namely the Center for Environmental Humanities at Ca’ Foscari and TBA21-Academy’s  Open Space, we will discuss approaches to a new “stoicheology” – from the Greek stoicheia (elements) – in an attempt to reanimate and reimagine nature-cultural assemblages detected in the Venetian lagoon and beyond. Elemental ideas have always belonged to the realm of art, literature, science, and mythology, and are being reanimated today, not as fossilized anachronism, but as collective engines for inquiry and imagination. It is precisely because of their archaic and deep-rooted presence in nearly all human accounts that they might serve us well today and gesture toward a resonant reconnection between“material,” “thought,” and “agency.”

In advance of our event, participants may wish to read Shaul Bassi’s NY Times OpEd Waters Close over Venice (Nov. 15, 2019) and a recent article in The Art Newspaper on Ocean Space and the current exhibition Oceans in Transformation

Organized by Casa Muraro, Columbia’s Center for Venetian Studies, and co-sponsored by the Department of Art History and Archaeology and the International Observatory for Cultural Heritage at Columbia's Italian Academy

Watch the video, or see details about the firstsecondfourth, and fifth events in the series.

Image: Territorial Agency, When above…, 2020. A light installation on the façade of Ocean Space, Church of San Lorenzo, Venice. Commissioned by TBA21–Academy Photo ©gerdastudio