Only two years ago Louis Vuitton opened its new flagship in Venice, which of course includes the brands art space Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel Venezia. The store as such was designed by the American architect Peter Marino and offers the whole product range on 4 floor (ground floor luggage and handbags, first floor mens wear, second woman’s wear and third floor book shop and art space – as far as I remember). The third floor, which was my favorite, has a beautiful loft like character with sofas to sit down and browse the huge book selection. Just the perfect counterbalance to the overcrowded street leading to St Marks square.
The Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel Venezia is pretty small compared with others we had visited before, e.g. Espace in Munich. The exhibitions are curated in a way to display a Venice heritage artwork, in our case two recently discovered Vittore Carpaccio works, next to contemporary art, in our case two Bill Viola installations. Employing this approach the timelessness of certain topics is presented. And the visitor feels invited to find similarities and differences in the perception and expression of a topic in different eras.
Renaissance is the title of the current exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel Venezia. It deals with the topic of birth, death and rebirth. Quite heavy stuff, if you consider that Venice is a touristy city, where most of the people come to have a good time without sorrows!
To explore birth Vittore Carpaccios *Madonna with child*, 1487 and Bill Viola *Emergence*, were confronted.
For death Vittore Carpaccios *Pieta* and Bill Viola *Eternal return*, 2000 were exhibited.
Ok, as said before I feel that this is heavy stuff during a stroll on a sunny day in Venice (especially if you have your kids with you). I guess Carpaccios pieces are in a very religious context and might proof the dominance of church in all aspects of the everyday life during his time. Viola (short intro for all, who have not yet heard of him- he is one of the most popular American video artists, he is famous for ultra slo mo short movies, which usually deal with dead-facing experiences and water. He cited a fall into a lake during childhood as one of his major inspirations.) of course has a strong aesthetic in his movies. Everything is floating in a poetic way. But for me its also hard to look at his installations – They have something so dark and frightful.
I like the concept of bringing classical art face to face with contemporary works, because it makes classical art more present and approachable. What do you think about the exhibition?