Philanthropy | Need To Now

Striking images of Venice in a new exhibition

A London exhibition puts Venice on show – and supports Venice in Peril

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Striking images of Venice in a new exhibition

Image: Hiroshi Watanabe

October 12 2011
Vicki Reeve

Established after the great flood of 1966, the Venice in Peril Fund has since raised and distributed millions of pounds for the restoration of buildings, monuments and artworks, as well as spreading the word about the very great dangers – ecological, demographic and so on – that La Serenissima still faces. To keep people thinking about the city and why it should be saved is key.

The Fund’s chairman, Anna Somers Cocks, says, “Venice needs contemporary art to help see it with fresh eyes so that the new, creative energy will be applied to its salvation.” And that is exactly the thinking behind the exhibition Real Venice. Curated by Elena Foster, founder of Ivorypress, and mounted by Venice in Peril, the show displays photographic work by leading international artists – including Hiroshi Watanabe, Nan Goldin, Lynne Cohen, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Tiina Itkonen – who were all invited to photograph Venice to create a collection of new, original and meaningful images of the city.

The exhibition of haunting, striking and often paradoxical photographs formed part of this year’s Venice Biennale (at the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore) and has now just arrived at Somerset House in London (until December 11). Selected works are to be auctioned by Phillips de Pury on November 3, with additional pieces available to buy online at www.realvenice.org. All profits, naturally, go to Venice in Peril. There is also a catalogue published by Ivorypress.

It’s worth just looking at these works to remind oneself of the great beauty, and equally great ravages, of this watery city.

First picture: Hiroshi Watanabe’s Viviana Ceppa as Innamorata. Second picture: Untitled (3 White Chairs) by Lynne Cohen. Third picture: Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s Giostre.