Galerie Raum mit Licht

 

VICTOR BURGIN

»VOYAGE TO ITALY«

Opening: Wednesday 03 November 2010, 19:00
Exhibition: 04 November - 17 December 2010


Voyage to Italy began with a commission from the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, to make a work in response to a photograph from their archives. I chose an image from a nineteenth-century album of photographs of Pompeii by Carlo Fratacci. In the foreground a wide flight of stone steps leads to a rectangular space flanked by colonnades of broken columns. In this space stands a woman. Her voluminous dress forms a broad-based cone, at the summit of which her face is shaded by the brim of a light hat with a dark ribbon. The photograph is captioned ‘Basilica’. No doubt the woman was included only to give scale to the architecture, and this is why the caption does not recognise her. But I am haunted by another explanation: the woman is a ‘mid-day ghost’, she is not named because she is not seen. I decided to make my own images of the place where the photograph was taken. As I worked in Pompeii, the couple formed by Fratacci and his model became associated in my memory with another couple photographed at Pompeii – in Roberto Rossellini’s 1953 film Viaggio in Italia. The voice-over text to my video is based on my description of the first and last sequences of this film.