Part I: Weathering the Ecological Faults
Venice, a city built of bricks and stone walls, built atop clay and silt, Buildings and bridges built atop mud, the poles of wood petrified - preserved under the suffocating land stored away from the sun to form:
A city of the bourgeois, built over the refugees of before. The upper class escaping state land, starting anew, a temporary settlement piled precariously for permanence.
This is a city that foreshadows the concrete skies, a city that overshadowed logic and reason, built atop human ambition.
The foundation of bricks piled atop, taller -
Of bell towers, brass, arches -
Of bridges that span across the canals channeling the water away, of bridges that tower above rivers, bridges and monuments standing tall, of divinity and the construction of the human civilisation, of a city built for permanence on top of temporary land.
< Piazza San Marco, Screenshot captured from Google Earth >
A city - foreshadowing the urban jungle
A city firstly of bricks - then plaster
Of plaster - then marble
Of marble - and sculpture
A land of prosperity, where streets are filled
With painted walls, of closely constructed
Communities with parallel windows
Of cobbled streets - a new civilisation
A dream - like state built from the image of prosperous towns
Floating atop water, the pinnacle of construction and innovation.
And yet the permanence remained within the constructed dream, as the years went on - the ground still caved from the caverns below, hollowed out by the extraction of its foundation. With the water drained from beneath the cracks, the water which kept the city afloat.
As rain beat on while the waters rose, a yearly haunting of what was channeled and stored away. The tendrils of river under the arching bridges, fills the stone cages built to contain it long ago.
And so the pavements shrunk and the city sunk, and the water that emerged washed away the land. - the city’s protection became its peril, of waterproof ground and the narrow walls that channeled the river upground.
And as the storms beat down and the water levels rose,
even these doors weren’t safe.
The ground seem to sink and people waded in water,
reminded of the world they kept at bay.
< Ponte di Rialto, Screenshot captured from Assassin's Creed - Venice >
As rain beat on while the waters rose, year after year it wore away.
The wooden bridges rotted as the mould and rot seeped in, yet ambition prevailed to save each monument as more replaced with stone and plaster it became.
The city closed its doors but it’s never enough as the waters swelled above.
They stuck on, crudely cut, planks of wood and foam.
The damage could be repaired, of crumbling plaster and metal,
the parts of stone that were washed away.
But as the water returns back to their cages, the city is left exposed,
what is left of it today.
The real Venice arrives, weathered through history,
it’s age cannot be concealed today.
The real Venice of crumbled walls of bricks and structures that have been impregnated with water within. The cracks and crevices begin to show, underneath the plaster covering the many years the city has been worn away.
And when the patches of plaster fell away, the city revealed itself, with inhabitants who have long anchored within.