Venice revives with art, glass and movies in September

Venice has slowly regained its cultural and social life after the serious flooding at the start of the year and the onset of Covid cases and lockdown which brought mass tourism to an abrupt halt.

The 76th Venice International Film Festival, organised by La Biennale di Venezia opened last Wednesday and runs until Saturday 12 September 2020.

Just as it was the first international film festival when it began in 1932, it is the first film festival on the major circuit to be held since the pandemic meant cinemas were closed and work on film sets came to an abrupt stop.

Unusually, tickets have been offered online for sale this year just ahead of the events – when usually they are snapped up well in advance. This is despite the fact that capacity in the theatres is reduced by mandatory empty seats between each film watcher and strict social distancing and careful checks for temperature and mask wearing which has changed the atmosphere of the event. Actor Cate Blanchett is Jury President and for the first time in 11 years, an Italian film opened the festival: The Ties, directed by Daniele Luchetti.

At the same time, the Venice Glass Week (5 to 13 September 2020) was launched in the open spaces of the Piazzo San Marco and focuses on La Serenissima’s centuries-old glassmaking skills.

The opening of the Venice Glass Week was held, in the open, in Piazza San Marco

Open-space gatherings of artists in the usually closed and rather secretive glassworks of the next-door island of Murano have brought established and new artists together in a public space at a time when their work and possibilities for exhibitions have been put on hold.

The Venice Glass Week is made up of about 67 individual exhibitions in spaces around the lagoon; among them is number 49, “Attraverso la mente” which opened at the Santa Marta Fabbricato Demaniale in Dorsoduro.

Tessa Calenda’s “Dormant Babe” with added depth as the guests at the expo can be seen reflected gently in the glass

Among the artists exhibiting there is Tessa Rosenfeld (@tessacalenda). She told Arts and Media Europe “To me, glass represents transparency. It hints at something other-worldly and refined. My dormant babes are in essence, transparent. I’d like to think that observing them, one can see beyond.”

Born in Santa Monica, California Tessa lives in Salento, way down the boot of Italy. “I was asked to choose a piece of my work and the first thing that came to mind was an image that could reflect purity, possibly without a stain. Everything seems stained these days.”

“My next project is creating large panels and tryptics. I begin to like the idea of replicating figures and images all of the same genus. Many dormant babes in different pastel shades evoke a sense of transcendency; give me peace. This, as far as Venice is concerned. There are other images as well. Of a darker sort, especially one I am particularly fond of: Tadzio, the ephebic youth reminiscent of Visconti’s movie “Death in Venice.” this next project is named “IO…..Myself, each in different colours.”

Arts and Media Europe is an occasional report and podcast with news of developing programmes and events.

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