Man in the Glass – Marcin Gierat in Venice
Man in the Glass is the new exhibition by Polish photographer Marcin Gierat, opened in Venice from 5 September to 10 October 2020.
The artistic project, curated by Marica Denora and Alessandro Possati and organized by Zuecca Projects, is very particular and is not limited to photography. In fact, some of the most renowned Murano glass factories were directly involved: Barovier & Toso, NasonMoretti and Schiavon Art Team.
How to put glass and photography together?
Thanks to the process used by the artist, the Wet Collodion. This particular technique, dating back to the mid-1800s, allows the creation of photos directly on glass plates.
The light passing through the lens does not impress photographic film or the most modern sensor of digital cameras, but chemically impresses the image on the glass, without other intermediate steps.
The magic is accomplished thanks to a clever use of chemistry: a few seconds of exposure are enough and the image framed by the camera appears on the glass.
So the glass masters of Murano become the real protagonists of the exhibition.
Each master has prepared a plate of glass strictly by hand using the secret recipes of his own furnace, with different colors and sizes, thanks to a centuries-old experience. And on these splendid plates, the artist then imprinted the portrait of the same glass masters.
The result is a series of “double portraits“, with the faces of the artisans imprinted on the glass plates they made.
Thanks to this very close link with Venetian glass art, Man in the Glass was included among the events of The Venice Glass Week 2020 and received the honorable mention of the Bonhams Prize for The Venice Glass Week.
Together with Marcin Gierat’s photographs on glass, the exhibition also includes other works that introduce us to the world of Murano glass. Among these, the Nason-Moretti collection awarded with the Compasso d’oro (Golden Compass Award) in 1955 is particularly beautiful and important for the technical innovation of “cased glass“.
The exhibition itinerary is then closed by the projection of a video, made in collaboration with Illumina Film Production, which offers an overview of the life, work and future prospects of the Murano glass masters.
One final note on the exhibition space. The Squero Castello was, in fact, a former squero, an artisan workshop for the construction and repair of boats, including the very famous gondolas. Recently restored, this space underlines the link of the exhibition with the city’s craftsmanship, with the skill of the workers and with the soul of Venice, capable of transforming craftsmanship into art.
Man in the Glass
by Marcin Gierat
September 06 – October 10/2020
Salizada Streta 369,
Castello 30122, Venice