Il Museo Nascosto. The Museum of the Unseen.
Archiving the forgone foreground of Venice. The project introduces a process of archival for the lost narratives of Venice, the hidden stories of its people that go unseen beneath layers of tourism.
The locals of Venice feel they are losing their voice. The reality of their city goes unseen beneath layers of mass tourism and imagined nostalgia. Their home which should act as the background to their lives has been brought to the fore. The true foreground of Venice, the narratives of its use and of the people who inhabit it, has been forgone in favour of painted and photographed images of ancient canals and weathered architecture. The world treats Venice as a capsule of the past and too often chooses to ignore the present state and true life of the city that remains somehow hidden in plain sight.
If the city of Venice is seen as the city of conservation, there must be a way to conserve the lost voices of its people. The project introduces a process of archiving the city that acts at three scales. Temporary exhibitions are built and then sent into the city to collect the narratives of its people through deposited stories and objects. These stories are then exhibited at an everchanging gallery that sits along the boundary of the old and new of the city. Finally, these collected narratives are archived in the Museum of the Unseen which grows and changes with age.
These interventions are presented as spaces ‘of Venice’, designed through an analysis of the city’s urban and architectural character. In this way, the project aims to restore the foreground of Venice over the background of its architecture and bring its unseen narratives to light.
Commendation: Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA)