Ugo Carmeni’s exhibition : Venice Mapping Time

Temporary exhibition curated by Daniella Ferretti

Ugo Carmeni’s exhibition : Venice Mapping Time

TheMerode has the pleasure to welcome Ugo Carmeni’s exhibition Venice Mapping Time offers a new perspective on the “stones of Venice”, curated by Daniela Ferretti.

The photographs originate from the documentation and mapping of the city’s architectural surfaces between October 2020 and March 2023, in the context of the restoration of several buildings and churches of the Patriarchate of Venice. Perched on the restoration scaffoldings, Carmeni has observed, noted, analysed, mapped, and photographed before finally selecting, among the many pictures, the ones that compose his highly personal narrative. The photographic enlargements of these city fragments have been printed on cotton paper in large format. The prints have been hand-polished with several coats of wax to protect the pigments and bring out their vividness, and finally placed on aluminium panels mounted on wooden frames. The entire production process was handled inside the studio and curated directly by the artist. Originally conceived for the spaces of Palazzo Grimani of Santa Maria Formosa and designed in close collaboration with the Museum, the exhibition can be hosted by different venues and can be adapted to different spaces, also with a different selection of works. Ugo Carmeni’s works look at Venice through the interpretive key of “mapping time”: the passing of time that changes the surfaces as it flows over them, but also the time of perception of the sculptures, architectures and colours of the lagoon city by those who experience it. To emphasize the close correlation between Carmeni’s photographic work and time, the title of each piece only indicates the instant in which the photo was taken, not its spatial co-ordinates: these details, isolated from their context, shed a new light on the continuity of surface and colour that constitutes the essence of Venetian architecture and urban design.

About the artist :

Ugo Carmeni (Conegliano 1976), a visual artist trained as an architect, lives and works in Venice. He investigates spatial perceptions and their application to the field of art, with particular attention to installation. Colourism, space and time, orientation and disorientation are typical themes of his work – also informed by his interest, as a researcher, in pre-Renaissance maps, Egyptian cartography and pre-photographic methods. His photographs have a strong textural presence, also due to the hand-made application of a wax coat to his prints on cotton paper.

His collaborations with international artists and architects (especially Marco Maggi and Sarah Sze) in the context of the Venice Biennale and other events had a major influence on his artistic journey – which took him, among other cities, to London, Paris, Madrid, San Francisco and New York. He has presented his work in various museums, foundations and galleries in Italy and abroad, working with curators such as Daniela Ferretti and Živa Kraus.

In 2020, during the months of lockdown, Carmeni explored a photographic approach to video with the short film Intervallo, which premiered at a collateral event of the 77th Venice International Film Festival. In 2023, the film was selected for the Berlin Short Film Festival. In 2023 he presented Ugo Carmeni. Venice Mapping Time, a solo exhibition curated by Daniela Ferretti with Dario Dalla Lana, in the Museum of Palazzo Grimani, Venice, from July 4th to November 26th.

About the curator :

Daniela Ferretti, an architect specialised in the field of exhibition design, has set-up more than 250 shows for public and private entities since 1977, both in Venice and elsewhere, for which she has collaborated with many leading Italian and foreign art critics and historians. She boasts collaborations with the Venice Biennale, Scuderie del Quirinale and Galleria Borghese in Rome, Barcelona’s CCCB, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Puskin Museum in Moscow, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and Palazzo Grassi in Venice. In addition to designing exhibitions, she is also experienced in curating and organising them in their entirety. Head of the Exhibitions Office of Venice's Department of Culture, in 1996 she was appointed Coordinator of Shows and Exhibitions at the Venetian Civic Museums Directorate. She directed the Fortuny Museum from 2007 to 2019. In 2008 she joined the Board of Directors of the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and since 2019 she has been a member of the Board of Directors of Fondazione dell'Albero d'Oro.