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  • Immagine del redattorePino Usicco

"This is an extraordinary “reading” ..."

Aggiornamento: 17 feb 2021


This is an extraordinary “reading” of Piazza San Marco. It is the work of Pino Usicco, venetian artist and friend who knows his city like very few others. Thus I am twice pleased to propose it.

Bacino di San Marco / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

Bacino di San Marco / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

Venice Piazza San Marco. It’s not just a matter of light

My Piazza San Marco

by Pino Usicco

If you want to get lost, take a picture of the square. I thoughtso. One of the most absurd things you can try to do is to ‘photograph’ St. Mark’s Square in Venice, because ‘it’s too much’. The best way to represent the square is a postcard. The site, the lagoon, are in fact the exact opposite and the essential upon which that too much gravitates and insists. For this very reason the two presences rejecting each other come to an agreement.

St. Mark’s Square seen from the lagoon is an apparition and leads the observer to discover himself captured in the imagination and, as a prey of a spell, to suffer the arrest of that reasoning that always accompanies us. You disembark and enter. Suddently a sort of fascinating terrestrial shelter replaces the marine one.

The wide opening space on the left is propitiatory for the view of the Basilica complex and the Bell Tower. Furthermore an architectural perspective escapes -the Old and New Procuratie- propitiate you to walk serenely.

Piazzetta / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®Piazzetta / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

Piazzetta / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

One view from the bottom of the square looking at the Basilica, another from the ‘door’ of the Clock Tower towards the two Columns and the Basin, and one more in the opposite direction may be sufficient to represent the whole, albeit with conspicuous omissions.

As soon as you cross the arch of the Clock Tower, the ‘horizontal’ space of the Piazza contracts and becomes ‘vertical’.

For the ancients, the empty space ‘the void’ was what contained the built, and that void was therefore partially occupied by the fullness of the landscape or architecture.

If architecture is the positive, the void that contains it becomes the ‘architecture’ of the negative, alike the shape of a mold adheres to the contours and surfaces of the positive.

The lagoon, the San Marco basin, are no longer what it used to be because at that time the apparent immobility of the surface mirrored the architecture, and the colors harmoniously.

The perception of the whole was constantly changing, as if by magic, due to the quick flashes of light on the slight motion of the rippling water moved by the wind. The architecture mirrored itself and appeared coherent with the architectures, with the sky and vice versa.

Procuratie vecchie e Ala napoleonica / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

Procuratie vecchie e Ala napoleonica / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

A maritime-nautical ‘silence‘, the slight pitching of the hulls of the boats and the hoarse-scraping sounds of rigging accompanied the ‘gra’ ‘gra’ of the seagulls…

Not anymore. The wave motion and the hulls of boats are disgusting and anachronistic presences. It is better to wait or wait for a wooden boat.

The grotesque industrial world is there at the edge of the lagoon, first sandbanks and rivers mouths, populated by water birds, now withered and oxygen-free waters.

Photography is a fallback, far away from the unique interpretative means of a pictorial view. However, at the beginning it gave the possibility to reproduce several similar copies. Now days it is still relevant and up to date to reproduce enlargements and copies.

The apparent inertia of the spectator-photographer was to deliver to posterity what he saw — faithful to ‘reality’ — the consequence of letting the image emerge from the negative. No manipulation, except, I repeat, to deliver a perfect ‘unreality’, a unique chromatic tone with hundreds of chiaroscuro variations. At his discretion, the photographer chose the optics and the position of the shot.

Basilica cupole / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

Basilica cupole / Foto © Pino Usicco DeHumanaArchitectura ®

These are not trivial things because they presuppose aesthetic and cultural choices. *The environment interacted with the medium, now we could say that today’s “agile” medium interacts with the environment.

Worrying about the medium is meaningless, what matters is not ‘reality’, but your reality and it can only be so. The medium gives limits because it takes you far away from uncertainty.

The area to be photographed did not care about poverty but always reproduced architecture and noble spaces. The light, which one… the natural one, and then?

I often thought of an abstraction: St. Mark’s Square without the city and vice versa.


Light and Time by Pino Usicco

Light and Time by Pino Usicco

Pino Usicco is author of publications, editorial works of: photography, design, painting, sculpture, ceramics. Scholar of light, he carries out research on perception and mixed languages. His interest is directed to the design of editorial works of wide-ranging, including issues relating to the preservation of the planet. Venezia Piazza San Marco, Light and Time is his latest work in the process of publication.

Fonte: Medium Traduzione/Translation by Isabella Usicco

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