Venice | Hamish Fulton review

The year is 1783 and the brilliant young Leggeri takes the city to a slow motion dance party. To his delight, an entire political class – mayors, ducal princes, civic-minded connoisseurs – attend all…

Venice | Hamish Fulton review

The year is 1783 and the brilliant young Leggeri takes the city to a slow motion dance party. To his delight, an entire political class – mayors, ducal princes, civic-minded connoisseurs – attend all evening and dance the night away. Leggeri pays homage to Venice for the festival and to Venice in Renaissance Italy for making Italians believe in themselves, drink and dance, and to praise beauty, harmony and coexistence. He understands that nothing can match the social and psychological significance of Venice; rather than acting a connoisseur of elegance and design, he seeks to celebrate it.

But Venice is imperiled: its splendid Eiffel Tower is decaying; the Venetian republic, encompassing all of Naples, is broken apart and divided by growing militant politics. Young and idealistic freedom fighters also kill and die, trying to liberate Naples from the nastiness of political factions and cruelties, all performed and supported by aristocratic foes with the help of the powerful Royal Navy. In this fable, Milan is the ultimate city of the Venetian counter-revolution and the excitement of violence is of paramount importance. Not all of the action takes place in Italian Venice but it is certainly a literary establishment figurehead.

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