It was one of the most original exhibitions of the Gaspesie Festival. It is called A Fragile Landscape. It is signed by Ewa Monika Zebrowski. It is accompanied by her text.
Venice continues to seduce me:
limpid, operatic, ephemeral.
A destination of 118 islands, 177 canals and 400 bridges.
suspended between heaven and earth.
A city floating in time and space.
I always prefer to visit Venice in winter when there are fewer tourists.
In winter Venice feels like an empty stage set, the actors absent/gone.
I appreciate the evanescent light of winter.
The cold heightens my senses/awareness.
Since 2003 I have made 11 trips to Venice,
always a desire to wander and to photograph.
In 2017 I was invited to do a one month residency with the Emily Harvey Foundation, an American organization founded by a painter and based in New York and Venice.
remembering brodsky (2004), vedute di venezia (2006), Venezia x9 (2006 ) of time, lost(2011), Sea of Lanterns(2011), bequest, 200 statues (2019). I have produced 6 bodies of work inspired by this city of reflections and history, including 3 limited edition artist’s books.
a fragile landscape now shown in Chandler is my first large scale outdoor project. It is my first time printing on aluminum.
My intention is to give the viewer a glimpse of this fragile landscape, a victim of its geographic situation.
And yet, my photos are not landscapes. They are details suspended in time: fragments and moments, a portrait of a city threatened by water.
A watery firmament existing in the space of memory.
Venice is as fragile as glass. An apparition. A mythic city.
I draw references from those eighteenth and nineteenth century landscape paintings, vedute, painted by artists who sojourned in Venice before me: Canaletto, Monet, Sargent, Turner, Morrice.
Each in his own way found Venice an inspiration.
Once an important economic power, today Venice has become a living museum. Tourists abound but its permanent population is shrinking, only adding to its precarious future.
What is it about la serenissima that continues to inspire so many: the light, the water, the reflections, the narrow mysterious vicoli, the rhythm of riding the vaporetti?
The light changes as the fog rolls in, acqua alta, the water rises.
Sirens warn of the coming high tide and flooding. Something the population/residents expects every winter.
Always a melancholy mood hangs in the air.
Always I feel a connection to the elements: stars, dampness, the smell of coffee. My interior space.
I stand in the Piazza San Marco.
I cannot absorb its fragile beauty in one lifetime.
Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Exhibition: a fragile landscape, an outdoor solo presentation included in the Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie in Chandler, Québec from July 15 to September 30 2022. Curated by Serge Clément.