Monday, February 28, 2022

Judgment Day, Piazza San Marco

A trio of best costume contestants wait to be given the go ahead to take the stage in Piazza San Marco, 21 February 2017

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Two Kinds of Carnevale Flight

4 February 2018

During the run of Carnevale in the couple of years before the pandemic, crowds began to make themselves increasingly felt on Thursdays and Fridays, before completely overwhelming the city during the weekend--to the point that the area all around Piazza San Marco in every possible direction become dangerously packed. Above, you see an example of it in the Piazza itself for the "Flight of the Angel", below, on the Riva degli Schiavoni, extending all the way from the Piazza to the Arsenale, as day-trippers wait to board their lancioni (large private tourist boats carrying them back to their original departure points outside the historic center--for example, from the Tronchetto parking structure). 

These kinds of uncontrolled weekend crowds led to a flight out of the city during these days on the part of many Venetian residents not obligated to remain in town to work.

Of course since the arrival of the pandemic crowd control hasn't been much of an issue--but work has disappeared too.

6 February 2016

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Rating Game

Best costume competition on the stage of Piazza San Marco, 24 February 2022; because of Covid it has been a couple of years since they've set up a stage like this.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Two from a Tiepolo

Though it's actually the image below that most vividly evokes the fondness that both Giambattista and his son Giandomenico had for situating their fashionable subjects in a scene with their backs to the viewer (as in the fresco now in Ca' Rezzonico at bottom by Giandomenico). (taken 11 February 2015)


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Not For the Claustrophobic

Unless your business model relied on huge crowds and a steady stream of foot traffic--composed of folks who with very few exceptions spent nothing on anything other than takeaway or junk food--Carnevale weekends (pre-Covid) were good times to leave the city (these images are from 11 February 2018)



Monday, February 14, 2022

Saturday, February 12, 2022

I Soliti Idioti

Venetians tend to get annoyed when tourists clamber aboard their boats to take selfies; fortunately for the above examples of the weekend Carnevale crowd, the owner of this work boat wasn't around (the title of this post is the name of an Italian tv show--but not only that: 11 February 2017)

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Carried Away in Piazza San Marco


The main figures in the above image, taken on 3 March 2014, seem to conflate a number of motifs from Giandomenico Tiepolo's wonderful series of Pulcinella drawings, as seen below. Well, at least they do in my mind. But then I'm always happy to recall this series of images, and if you can get your hands on a copy of the large-format complete edition of the drawings published by George Braziller in 1986 and entitled Domemico Tiepolo, The Punchinello Drawings, (with an Introduction and sometimes dubious interpretations by Adelheid Gealt), take a look at it. Or, better yet, buy it, as they're not too easy to find in good condition.


The birth--or rather, hatching--of Pulcinella

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Frenzy: In the Days Before Social Distancing (5 Images)

I always found the photographers as interesting as--if not more than--their static, masked, posing subjects, so that it's long seemed to me the ubiquitous porcelain-faced mime images which are synonymous with contemporary (ie, post 1980) Venetian Carnevale not only don't give an accurate sense of what the experience is (or was) actually like, they miss the most lively part of it (all images: 28 February 2014).




Thursday, February 3, 2022

Costumed Carnevale Melodrama

These folks costumed for Carnevale didn't just dress up, they struck textbook poses: in the above case of that old melodrama favorite, The Fallen Woman. (taken 27 February 2014)

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Long Time No See (or Post)

Campo San Stin, 23 December 2014: Social media has replaced campi and streets as the site for skirmishes akin to the one above--but between adults (though no less infantile). It's the kind of interaction to which social media lends itself and, in fact, actively promotes.

I find myself too busy with and preoccupied by things in North America to post anything about Venice lately. These are dangerous and ominous times in the United States, and as ugly as might be expected when a country's fond fantasies about itself finally collide with facts. 

America's most recent Vice-President and Attorney General met with and praised Hungary's authoritarian ruler Viktor Orban, while just two days ago its most recent president explicitly stated that on January 6, 2021 he attempted to "overturn" the results of an election he admittedly lost, encouraged his supporters to take to the streets should any attempt be made to charge him with crimes, promised pardons for any of his supporters who committed crimes on his behalf, and depicted the investigations of his criminal activity as "racist" (that is, "anti-white witch hunts" undertaken by African-American officials).

In other words, the anti-democratic coup that occurred on last January 6 continues, and has been adopted by the Republican Party itself as its political platform. Much of the news media--craven, sloppy, greedy, and cynical--falls into Orwellian haziness when referring to political systems like Orban's as "illiberal democracies." It makes them sound as if their worse crime is tipping waiters badly. Orban's Hungary is a one-party state: to call it anything else is to become complicit with its obfuscations and crimes. A one party state is also the aggressively, relentlessly, and openly pursued goal of America's Republican Party. 

But none of this is the subject matter of this blog, even though there's more than a little Trump in Venice's current non-resident mayor. (About a year after Trump took office my son went with his fifth grade elementary school class on a tour of Ca' Farsetti: the seat of the city's government. Mayor Brugnaro was not there--not surprising, I suppose--but they were allowed to visit his office. On a small table directly behind the mayor's desk sat a red "Make America Great Again" cap, my son reported to us when he came home that afternoon.)

So, it's better that I write nothing than veer inevitably off topic. To that end, beginning tomorrow I'll post an image a day this month from past years of Venetian Carnevale; some of which I've posted before (usually as part of a group of images), others I've never posted. 

Because the hosting site seems to have ceased updating its filter protecting blogs from spam comments--at least this is what I assume based upon the torrent of such computer-generated ads I get in the Comments section of old posts after I put up any new post--I may decide to disable the Comment section. But the "Contact Venezia Blog" box in the right margin of the blog will continue to function.