November 2011



ProjectB presents LAS HORAS CLARAS the solo exhibition of the Spanish artist Dionisio Gonzalez.

On show in Milano light boxes ranging from the real to the dreamlike, all dedicated to the city of Venice as the symbol of a timeless place steeped in contrasts that make it unique and, at the same time, immobile.

Dionisio Gonzales' work aims to bring together photography and architecture. The artist makes c-prints, taking a real image of a place and digitally superimposing a closely connected but virtual architectural project onto it.

The chosen place itself always has a special relationship with architecture: like Venice the photos of Halong Bay in Vietnam, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, or the Dauphin Island project (an island in the United States of America, devastated by a number of well-documented catastrophes from hurricanes Katrina and Ivan to the recent environmental drilling rig disaster). This way of living a disaster contains the paradox - which the artist wants to show - of a community that establishes itself in a place that's continually being rebuilt.

The Venice project was defined after analysing the designs put forward for the city by the greatest architects of the 20th century, but which never saw the light of day: it's a belated tribute to those abandoned attempts to change the appearance of a place that had remained the same for hundreds of years. With astounding objectiveness, Dionisio Gonzalez photographs the areas that should have housed those buildings and, using modern retouching techniques, inserts the renderings of the buildings to recreate them with the aid of the original drawings and projects of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Khan - a tribute to Palladio and a reinterpretation of Ignazio Gardella's Condominio Cicogna.

According to Dionisio Gonzalez, the failure to construct these buildings lay in the scanty application - in other words, a lack of perseverance in pursuing the goal, due to the responsibility that mankind feels towards Venice - the responsibility to maintain its unchanging appearance and preserve it as a symbol, as a memorial for future generations, condemning it to a perpetual immobility.

“My photos are the result of a lot of research to identify the exact location of these absent buildings. I started off by taking simple photos of the areas, then added the buildings in 3-D, using not the original drawings but the ones already modified by the architects on the basis of the first re-examination with the contractors. In this way, I side-stepped their absence and created a possible Venice - what Venice could have become”.

Apart from the projects put forward by Wright, Corbusier and Khan, Gonzalez' Venice also includes a tribute to Palladio - a building inspired by the four books of architecture published in the city itself in 1570: a dreamlike place on Giudecca Island where, in the opinion of the artist, “the rules of the city are more flexible and the eye can take a rest while the immensity of the lagoon takes over”.