Venice and its Ephemerality

Is Venice really set in stone like what John Ruskin says in his book? The unconforming strength and materiality of the city is traced brick by brick in the Stones of Venice and yet, the city is more temporal than ever. Centuries of making, unmaking and remaking is not only visible through the decaying stucco on the facades of its buildings, but also in the slow death of the cosmopolis.


Before going back to Venice for the third time, I want to understand it. The watery city was always summarisable in one word – pretty. Like a reality TV show, it is a place for the eyes. Your eyes feast on the vibrant colours of Murano and the ruin porn of the devoured wall. It is very easy to dislike Venice. Just take it for its face value and it is nothing more than a touristic spot for consumption and decadence. But this time, I want to see Venice under the mask that I have carelessly placed on its face.


  1. Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice by Jennifer Scappettone. Killing the Moonlight
  2. Richard Murphy’s Lecture on Carlo Scarpa from Youtube. Carlo Scarpa (in Richard Murphy’s Lecture)