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Depth In Venice

posted on 2019-10-25, 00:00 authored by Martin PotterMartin Potter, Antonia PontAntonia Pont, Tasha Haines
Depth In Venice



Palazzo Bembo




Depth In Venice was the 6th provocation of the Public Art Commission project Venetian Blind, exhibited at the Palazzo Bembo as part of the Personal Structures program of the European Cultural Centre, Venice Biennale, 2019 The brief " Depth in Venice" establishes a critical accord between the great narratives of Venice and its constituent, potentially little-known parts. By researching and revealing its infrastructures, icons, stories and even peccadiloes, this public art projects investigates hidden aspects of the city and their resonance with the human condition, our personal structures.

Research statement

Depth in Venice is a collaborative art research project that explores humanity’s intervention into the natural world within an overarching theme: ‘waste provides an opportunity for life to thrive.’ Humanity’s effect on the natural world haunts us in the 21st century. We have named it the Anthropocene; it helps to call attention to the climate catastrophe beginning to unfold in our lifetimes. Can the fragility of Venice help us perceive the Anthropocene? In this fragility, where do we find resilience? This project engages with Venice’s complex system of waste and water management. This system defines the city, allowing it to remain a viable site for human occupation. Simultaneously, as sediment in the canals rises, the city sinks and with water levels rising across the lagoon, Venice teeters on collapse. The Venice Lagoon is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin. The low lying landscapes of mud flats and salt marsh supporting fisheries and bird habitat have been enhanced to varying degrees, by the nutrient-rich water that comes from human waste. Depth in Venice was part of Venetian Blind, a Public Art Commission project. Venetian Blind saw six projects commissioned over the duration of the European Cultural Centre’s Personal Structures exhibition at the Palazzo Bembo from 8 May until 24 November 2019, in conjunction with the 58th Venice Biennale. This iteration, the last of the 6 residencies, was produced by Haines, Pont and Potter who worked collaboratively in situ in Venice. To investigate the complex interaction of waste, of water and of human flow through Venice the artist-researchers undertook a series of participatory and performative engagements with people in the city, including other artists in the Venetian Blind project, workers within the Palazzo Bembo, Venetian locals and visitors to one of the most touristed places on Earth.

Publication classification

J2 Minor original creative work


Installation work at the Palazzo Bembo, Venice as part of the Venice Biennale, 2019.


Douglas M, Venzo P


Venetian Blind


[Venice Biennale]

Place of publication

Palazzo Bembo, Venice