John Matturri

THEN / NOW  Established by refugees fleeing from the invaders in their homelands to the shifting mudflats of its lagoon, Venice invented itself as a historically central city through a series of myths about its origin, its status as an oligarchical republic, and its marriage-like relationship with the sea. The extraordinary constructed fabric of the city - a collage of cityscapes and borrowed architectural styles, of stolen relic bones and art both native and plundered - is treated in Matturi’s work as part of a continuing tradition of myth-making, a tradition perhaps as tenuous as the city itself or, perhaps, as counterfeit as the object that Shakespeare’s Iago offers to Othello as an ocular proof of his wife’s infidelity.