Overlooking the most famous (salt) water basin in the world – nestled between Piazza San Marco, the Island of San Giorgio and Punta della Dogana – stands the Palazzo delle Prigioni. Had you walked in front of it along the shore in 2017, your gaze would have fallen on the large plastic sign draping the facade: Doing Time.
Tehching Hsieh, Doing time.
Then climbing the steps beyond the stone threshold, you would have entered the Taiwan Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale of International Art. Tehching Hsieh’s, Exposure, a film about performance art, is projected onto a screen in front of two small stools stationed in dim light. The Taiwanese artist became famous in the 1970s and ’80s in New York for his year-long performances which constituted his prevailing artistic subject matter at that time. In the video, Hsieh arranges paper on a wet floor, forming a square, its shades gradually fading from the first piece to the last based on how long the paper is exposed to water. The exhibition is over, but the lagoon still bathes the Palazzo’s facade.
A performance, time, water: flowing together.
Through time: in nature, in art, in craftsmanship. With this, Il Bisonte Journal is inaugurating a series of posts aimed at creating a sort of time machine, an aging cellar, if you will, a dark room. We’ll talk about all the surfaces that bear and display the resulting signs of life. It’s the same nuanced message, traced from the leathers of bags to the words in this Journal.