Vera Lutter Venice

Between 2005 to 2008 I traveled to Venice every year to photograph the spirit of the grand and storied city. Visiting Venice in 2005 while the moon was full between the months of October and December—when the flooding of aqua altais most likely to occur—I was able to photograph the city while its ground had visually dropped away. The resulting photographs of Piazza San Marco depict it suspended above its own reflected image—as if the place exists outside of gravity—representing both the mythical and historical aspects of the city. In this way, the images become more than mere documents, but suggest an alternate reality which comes uncannily close to our own.

During my following three visits from 2006 to 2008, I explored the area around the Grand Canal focusing particularly on where it flows into the Bacino San Marco. This location provided views of both the region’s waterways and prominent seascape, allowed me to capture the island’s distinct position within the lagoon. The water in these photographs, the same water that the iconic beauty of Venice is steeped in, and which imbues the city with its quality of light, is ironically also the constant threat of the city’s ruin. In contrast, the images overlooking the lagoon recall the region prior to the building of Venice, characterizing the idea of seascape rather than of urban structure. Due to the lengthy exposure times, the perpetual flux of water is rendered nearly as placid and intangible as the sky, again reshaping Venice into a mythical place, virtually uplifted into the atmosphere, yet grounded in the reality of photography.

Camera and Screen: Winter 2006
Piazza Leoni, Camera and Screen: Fall 2005
Ca del Duca Darkroom: November 2005