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Dream of Venice in Black and White (Dream of Venice Series) Hardcover – 5 Sep 2018
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An enchanted Venice, in black and white, like a dream. But this is really the authentic Venice, a dream-reality that we must love and defend. --Salvatore Settis, author, If Venice Dies
This remarkable anthology, thanks to the wintery season, the tones of black and white and the virtual absence of tourists, offers us the romantic melancholy, the poetry of reflections and the beauty of light that are the magic of Venice. --Philip Rylands, Director Emeritus, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.
The beauty of Venice could not exist without the unwavering love of those who live and work here. This book captures with magnificent images and passionate words the spirit of a dream that the world should not take for granted. --Shaul Bassi, Director, International Center for the Humanities and Social Changes at Ca Foscari University of Venice
About the Author
Tiziano Scarpa was born in Venice, Italy in 1963. He is a novelist, poet, and playwright. Scarpa s third novel, Stabat Mater (Serpent s Tail, 2011) was awarded the Strega Prize, Italy s most prestigious literary honor. His acclaimed Venice is a Fish: a Sensual Guide (Gotham Books, 2008) is known throughout the world as an idiosyncratic celebration of Venice. Corpo (Einaudi, 2005) is a collection of aphorisms and short stories about fifty parts of the human body. His books have been translated into many languages including Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, and Arabic. Scarpa has collaborated with musicians (jazz, rock, classical, pop) including Enrico Rava, Marlene Kuntz, Michele Tadini, and Debora Petrina. His essays about modern and contemporary art have featured Anish Kapoor, Tino Seghal, Mimmo Rotella, and Giorgio De Chirico. Scarpa has twice received the international Prix Italia for radio drama (1997 and 2008). He currently lives in Venice.
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The book opens with a short, thought-provoking treatise on that all too vexing subject of ‘the tourist‘ in the city. Tiziano Scarpa broods on the phenomenon of tourism. There are only 50,000 regular residents now in the city and in essence ‘the real inhabitants of Venice are the tourists’. 30 million people are hosted annually in the city (that is the equivalent, give or take, of the population of Greece!). Such a stunning city will, of course, continue to attract visitors and the big question must be how to best manage and accommodate the influx (author Gregory Dowling wrote a superb piece for us about this very subject, Venice, not only Disneyland). The term tourist perhaps a misnomer and reframing the word as temporary resident, people who delight today in following in the footsteps of past inhabitants, traversing the very flagstones laid down centuries ago, observing the scenes that are redolent of history and previous occupants of the city.
Venice stands on the largest wetland in the Mediterranean, a lagoon that is a delicately balanced ecosystem and the advent of the large cruise ships may bring increased footfall (and concomitant trade and income) but pollution from the puffing funnels is becoming a significant factor.
Venice is a city that has to keep reinventing itself. When trade dwindled 500 years ago, it turned its focus to the arts and now tourism is at the core of commerce. But it is not an easy relationship. There are now too few permanent residents to really determine where the future of this wonderful – and blighted – city might lie.
A thought provoking book, with stunning images. This book is a must for anyone who loves Venice.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to support the Ikona Gallery on the Campo del Ghetto. Its founder, Živa Kraus, says that In 2009 the Ikona Gallery celebrated its 30th anniversary in Venice with the Gianni Berengo Gardin exhibition. To this day, he chooses to offer the city and its visitors the chance to behold meaningful images written in photography.
It’s one thing to read all the praise showered on “Dream of Venice in Black and White”. To hold it in my hands is a completely different deal. It’s like coming face to face with a fabled creature you’ve heard so much about, had such great expectations for, and you desperately hope for it to be exactly the way you imagined it would be. This book lives up to the praise and exceeds it a thousandfold.
This book leads you away from Venice the world believes to know everything about, a fact I’m extremely excited about and proud of, but that is not the reason why I claim this book to be magical. I do so because I adore the way the visual story flows in this book thanks to JoAnn Locktov’s carefully selected photographs and the layout created by Nick Phillips that place said images in a sequence as fluid and mesmerising as the lagoon's emerald waves.
Are you brave enough to let go of your preconceived notions and discover Venice you have never really seen before? Are you ready for Venice that leads you on an adventure through its calli to chase dreams, the one where people from a more elegant age go about their day, the one that enjoys its reflection in water mirrors and extends a subtle invitation for you to peek into said liquid amalgams to see what realists deem impossible? If your answer is yes, this book is for you.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have always felt Venice is best depicted in black & white and the perfect photograph choices JoAnn Locktov has made in selections that include foggy landmarks, reflecting canals and bridges, enchanting residents and shadowy corners. This book unmasks the sublime moodiness and captures the feeling of exploring mysterious labyrinthine passages. It is truly a fabulous depiction of the incredibly preserved ancient city that once ruled the entire world.
If you have not been tempted to visit Venice yet, the book will certainly entice you. And if you have been several times, it will surely lure you to return. Dream of Venice in Black and White reveals why the most stunning city on the planet must be respected, honored and preserved. The introduction by Tiziano Scarpa is a plea to save Venice at all costs. So you will not see any photos of the cruise ships and hoards of tourist descending on Piazza San Marco in high season that are threatening to destroy it.
But what I can share about Dream of Venice in Black and White is this.
While the beauty of this book is staggering from the minute one holds it in one’s hand, there is also something beautifully melancholic around its photographs and text. It is not a melancholy that draws me further, rather one that deepens my love for Venice and takes me into a more intimate view of the depth of her soul.
Dreams are composed of images. And while those images can be fleeting in memory, the emotions that they impart on us linger long after we awake. In this book, my emotions linger within me long after I turn each page. For this reason, I go very slowly through this dream, and with a certain reverence.
Because there is a certain magic that Venice will impart on those who embrace her as their muse, the photographs in this book have something to them unlike what we typically associate with photographs. Typically, there is a curiosity about the scene, a wondering of what is taking place, of who is in the photograph and such. While there is indeed a story to these photographs and to the people in them, for me the words are initially stripped away, as color is stripped away, and through the black and white there is a certain music that I feel. It is far more interesting and enchanting to linger in the experience of this glance without naming it. I do not know of any other books, besides the Dream of Venice series, for which this is true for me.
The soul in me, who is blessed to be able to every now and then return to this beloved city, gives many thanks to JoAnn Locktov, the gifted photographers, and Tiziano Scarpa for this experience. The Dream of Venice series, of which this is the third book, is a testament to the undying beauty, mystery, and lure of the city and how as long as there are those who remain curious about her, Venice will continue to reveal more and more of her story and her soul.