Human Venice - Inhuman Venice

"Human Venice - Inhuman Venice"

Located in the De Maria rooms of the Casa dei Tre Oci, the exhibition takes the visitor through the contradictions of a Venice made up of lights and shadows, gathered in two independent but strongly linked sections. In the part dedicated to "The Human Venice", the narrative tool consists of a series of photographs selected from the production of Sergio Del Pero (1913-1987), considered one of the greatest Italian photographers of the twentieth century, even if little known by the general public . In Del Pero's images, a Venice embodied by its inhabitants, made up of fatigue and hopes, strength and fragility, leisure and work, is told. A popular and common Venice, which Del Pero immortalizes using very particular compositional and printing techniques.

The section dedicated to "The Inhuman Venice" is instead a synthesis of the expressive power of twenty-four different photographers, all members of the Circolo Fotografia La Gondola, who with their shots document the non-human-scale choices of urban development and planning in which Venice has been progressively stripped of its vocation to be a place to live and live in everyday life, to be transformed into a city to be consumed hastily and without any participation. A city that, however, has not lost the desire to start over. The photographers exhibiting in this section are Enrico Gigi Bacci, Lubomira Bajcarova, Antonio Baldi, Marino Bastianello, Luciano Bettini, Aldo Brandolisio, Ilaria Brandolisio, Nicola Bustreo, Paola Casanova, Carlo Chiapponi, Mariateresa Crisigiovanni, Ezio De Vecchi, Francesco Del Negro, Enrico Facchetti, Paolo Mingaroni, Marzio Minorello, Matteo Miotto, Sandro Righetto, Andrea Sambo, Massimo Stefanutti, Teresa Turacchio, Fabrizio Uliana, Izabella Vegh, Anna Zemella.


This exhibition is part of a wider cultural project, through which the Venice Foundation celebrates the 1600 years of the lagoon capital with photography, proposing a tale of Venice in different locations and under different visual angles through which to bring out the most iconic aspects of city ​​along with the complex evolution of the last century.

In addition to the exhibition at the Casa dei Tre Oci, at the headquarters of the Venice Foundation in Rio Novo until 9 January 2022 it is possible to visit “Venice, Gianni Berengo Gardin and Maurizio Galimberti. Two looks in comparison ”. Curated by Denis Curti, it builds an original parallel path in which the two great masters of twentieth century photography accompany the visitor along an ideal itinerary through the city, made up of iconic black and white images and dynamic snapshots in Polaroid format. Through their very personal and unmistakable styles, imprinted in over twenty shots, Gianni Berengo Gardin (Santa Margherita Ligure, 1930) and Maurizio Galimberti (Como, 1956) create two expressive languages ​​that, without the need for words, tell and reveal a cities that the passage of time has partly manipulated and removed.



Venice / Tre Oci, Sale De Maria 16.09> 01.11.21
Curated by the La Gondola Photographic Circle, Promoted by the Venice Foundation
Organized by La Gondola Photographic Circle and Casa dei Tre Oci
Hours: every day, except Tuesday, from 11.00 to 19.00
Entrance included in the ticket for the current exhibition at the Casa dei Tre Oci

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Venice / Venice Foundation, Rio Novo 17.09. 21> 09.01.22
Curated by Denis Curti, promoted and organized by the Venice Foundation
Hours: Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 19.00 Free admission

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In compliance with the provisions in force, access to the exhibitions will be allowed only to visitors with a mask and "green pass".
The times of the individual exhibitions are conditioned by the trend of the Covid-19 epidemic. We therefore invite you to check for any changes on the websites of the individual institutions.



“When [Sabine Weiss] photographs children, she becomes a child herself.

There is absolutely no barrier between her, them, and the camera.”

Hugh Weiss, artist and husband of Sabine Weiss


The Casa dei Tre Oci in Venice presents, from March 11 to October 23, 2022, the largest retrospective ever held – and the first in Italy - dedicated to the Franco-Swiss photographer Sabine Weiss, who passed away at the age of 97 at her home in Paris on 28 December 2021, one of the greatest representatives of French humanist photography along with Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Edouard Boubat, Brassaï, and Izis. 


The exhibition is the first and most important tribute to her career, with over 200 photographs. Curated by Virginie Chardin, the retrospective is sponsored by the Fondazione di Venezia, realized by Marsilio Arte in collaboration with the Berggruen Institute, and produced by the Sabine Weiss studio in Paris and Laure Delloye-Augustins, with the support of the Jeu de Paume and the International Festival Les Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles.


The only woman photographer of the postwar era to have practiced this profession for such a long time and in every photographic genre - from reportage, artists' portraits, and fashion to ‘street’ photography, with particular attention to children's faces and her extensive travels around the world, Sabine Weiss, who was able to actively participate in the construction of this exhibition, had opened her personal archives in Paris to tell her extraordinary story and present her work for the first time in a comprehensive and structured way.


The shots exhibited at the Tre Ociretrace, along with various publications and magazines of the time, Weiss's entire career, from her beginnings in 1935 to the 1980s. From the outset, as the photographs of children and passersby in the exhibition testify, Weiss directed her lens on bodies and gestures, immortalizing emotions and feelings, in the spirit of French humanist photography, an approach from which she would never deviate, as can be seen from her words: "To be powerful, a photograph must speak to us about an aspect of the human condition, make us feel the emotion that the photographer felt in the presence of her subject".


Born Sabine Weber in Saint-Gingolph, Switzerland, on 23 July 1924, later taking the surname of her husband, the American painter Hugh Weiss (Philadelphia, 1925 - Paris, 2007), she approached photography at an early age. She completed her apprenticeship with the Boissonnas, a dynasty of photographers who had been working in Geneva since the end of the 19th century. In 1946, she left Geneva for Paris and became the assistant of Willy Maywald, a German photographer specializing in fashion and portraits. When she married Hugh in 1950, she embarked on a career as an independent photographer. Together, they moved into a small Parisian studio, where Weiss still lives, and frequented the postwar art milieu.


One of the core groups of works in the exhibition Sabine Weiss. The Poetry of the Instant tells the story of the 1950s, the period in which the photographer gained international recognition. In 1952, her career took a decisive turn when she joined the Rapho agency on the recommendation of Robert Doisneau. From 1953 onwards, her photographs were published by major international dailies and magazines including Picture PostParis MatchVogueLe OreThe New York TimesLife, and Newsweek. In that same year, Weiss participated in the exhibition Post War European Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), and in 1954 the Art Institute of Chicago dedicated an important solo exhibition to her work. In 1955 Edward Steichen chose three of her shots for the historic anthological exhibition The Family of Man at the MoMA.


From 1952 to 1961, Weiss collaborated with photographers such as William Klein, Henry Clarke, and Guy Bourdin, producing some memorable fashion shoots for Vogue, from which the exhibition displays several vivid color prints along with 15 original issues of the legendary magazine.


A section of the exhibition is dedicated to her portraits of painters, sculptors, actors, and musicians. For five years, Hugh Weiss mentored the artist Niki de Saint Phalle, whereas Sabine was close to Annette Giacometti, wife of the great sculptor Alberto. The exhibition features their portraits alongside those of other personalities such as Robert Rauschenberg, Françoise Sagan, Romy Schneider, Ella Fitzgerald, Simone Signoret, and Brigitte Bardot.


A voyage to America in 1955 aboard the ocean liner Liberté in the company of her husband Hugh made a strong impression on her, and the shots taken in the streets of New York, teeming with details, from the Bronx and Harlem to Chinatown and Ninth Avenue, were published in The New York Times in a major spread entitled "A Parisienne’s New Yorkers”. The images tell the story of America from a French point of view, with a marked sense of humor, many of which are exhibited for the first time in Italy,on the occasion of the retrospective at the Tre Oci.

The exhibition also reserves ample space for works created in the 1980s, when the artist was in her sixties, during her travels to Portugal, India, Myanmar, Bulgaria, and Egypt. As the curator Virginie Chardin observes, "These works have an extraordinary intellectual with an occasional sentimental note, centered on solitude, faith, and moments of reflection on the nature of existence".


In addition to photographs, the exhibition will also feature excerpts from documentary films dedicated to Weiss (La Chambre Noire of 1965; Sabine Weiss of 2005; My work as photographer of 2014) in which the photographer recounts, in different periods of her life, her artistic journey, her travel experiences, and the difficulty of being a female photographer. The strength of her curiosity for the world and her joy of seeing and documenting it make Sabine Weiss a symbol of courage and freedom for all women photographers.

The catalogue, published by Marsilio Arte, includes many previously unpublished images, along with texts by Virginie Chardin, curator of the exhibition, and Denis Curti, artistic director of the Casa dei Tre Oci.

Radio Monte Carlo is the official media partner.

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