Some of the residents cohort took part in ‘Barena Interventions’, a performance-lecture devised by the NEA resident Lodovica Guarnieri together with Ifor Duncan. The performance was part of the seminar ‘Venice is Leaking: Interventions in the Lagoon-City Continuum’, one of the four seminars of the Anthropocene Campus Venice ‘The Politics of Water in the Age of the Anthropocene’ .
The performance brought participants along the shore of Sant’Erasmo Island: from the beach in front of the Bacàn island, which is being eroded by the hydrodynamics changes resulting from the construction of MOSE, to the saltmarshes – barèna.
The performance explored the scale of relations and entanglements between social and ecological processes drawn by the impact of humidity in the Venice Lagoon.
Lodovica and Ifor invited participants to engage bodily with ‘other modes’ of tides and the dynamics of weathering bodies, creatures, and phenomena in deep time, space geography, the Lagoon and the city. By focusing attention on weather phenomena such as rising damp, water vapour, and sea aerosol, the performance unlocked such binary phenomena as wet/dry, nature/culture, city/Lagoon, body/environment.
On our second day, Giudecca opened its doors to us. Starting with ‘My love story with Venice’ by Paul B. Preciado, the tour brought us through the pulsing energy of the fascinating island. Facing Zattere where V-A-C is located, Giudecca houses artists studios, galleries and production spaces.
We had the opportunity to visit Spazio Punch and the installation set there of plant species currently considered illegal in the European Union. Located in the renovated Dreher’s brewery, Spazio Punch sits alongside other artists studios and small galleries.
After a brief visit to the artists atelier, we went to Spazio Cosmo, a production space located in a deconsecrated church. There, soprano singer Claron McFadden and composer Emanuele Wiltsch Barberio rehearsed for us pieces of their upcoming show.
Together with our Cicero – Edoardo Lazzari, we embarked on a two days exploration of known and less known business and initiatives in Venice.
On our first day, we walked through the sestrieri (neighbourhoods) of Dorsoduro, San Polo and Canaregio to enter into the granularity of the city. We spoke with those working at: Bruno, the graphic design studio and bookshop ran by young and talented professionals; Small Caps where anectdotes and stories of life in Venice are transformed into mesmerising screen prints; Declare, curated leather products shop which collaborates with local visual artists; Le Malefatte/Rio Terà dei Pensieri, a social cooperative which has been working with inmates in Venice since 1994 producing bags and beauty products; and finally, Bottega Saòr, where Studio Saòr catalogues Venices’s architectural elements, from churches, to islands, from bridges to campi, creating souvenirs and publications.
Lodovica Guarnieri is a designer and researcher whose practice grapples with technoscience as it relates to environmental and social justice, coloniality and climate change. She has worked on exhibitions at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Manifesta and Van Abbemuseum, among others, and was part of the research project Hostile Environment(s).