A Perfect Cliché, Venezia

Cesare Baccheschi (December 08, 2011)
The Beautiful Clichè - Venezia is an exhibition by the Italian photographer Renato D'Agostin, which offers a very interesting, new and fresh perspective of Venice avoiding stereotypes and offering an original portrait of this city.

The inauguration of The Beautiful Clichè – Venezia exhibition by Renato D’Agostin took place in The Chinese Porcelain Company on 475 Park Ave. The context of the exhibition was rather peculiar and the pictures of the young photographer were surrounded by other pieces of furniture that were creating an interesting contrast between the simplicity of the shots and the rich textures of the deep green wallpaper and furniture of the 18th century.

The photos exposed, as the title suggests, are shots taken in Venice but, instead of offering the usual, well known, scenery of Venice with Gondolas and the romantic bridges with which the entire world identifies the city of Venice, D’Agostin explores other points of view but still is able to leave a trace in the pictures of the Venice that we all know very well.

Subjects of his pictures are the water, which is very much present all over the city, birds, mainly sea gulls, boats and the historical magnificent buildings of which the city is mainly composed of.

The view offered of the different subjects is always fuzzy and unclear. For example in 01 Venezia (2010), the boat that crosses the entire frame of the picture is completely surrounded by the bright white results of an over exposition of the film. The boat draws a horizontal line and the wavelet of the water in between two boas are the only visible elements. An other skillful example is 02 Venezia (2010) where a horizontal line of people standing next to what it is seems  to be a parapet is overtopped by a curved electric cord on which birds are resting. Lines are the main theme of the photographic exposition and the photographer shows how his subjects unconsciously draw lines that can be transformed in art pieces. All the pictures are in black and white on a silver gelatin print and selenium toned.

D’Agostin is not interested in the perfection that digital photography can offer but instead he plays with the grain of the film and of the paper becoming part and parcel of his own style. A very good example is offered by 04 Venezia (2010) where drops of water on the lens of the camera are over imposed on what it seems to be a little island on the Venice’s lido casted by fog. On top of this, the grains of the very high asa of the film add a very interesting texture that increases the fuzziness of the vision.The art exhibition will be open from December 8th till December 15th, and it really deserves to be checked to pause from the confusing shopping Christmas atmosphere that is polluting the area.