Venice a city of color, light and shadows. Matthias Schaller stumbled upon the architectural anomaly of the controfacciata or counter-façade whilst exploring the magnificent Venetian palaces along the edges of the canals. These spaces at the front of the first floor lie still, in semi-darkness. The walls glow in twilight, the faded grandeur of earlier days discernible in the busts, furniture and paintings. From the end of the passage, light floods into the rooms, sapping the blazing colors of the decor. Doors off the hallway lead to unknown rooms and silent histories.
Between 2004 and 2007 Schaller made a series of photographic studies of these hallways and corridors in the quarter between Ponte di Rialto and Piazza San Marco. Applying a direct elevation perspective, his images highlight the long hall that extends to the light-filled windows at the waters edge. They present an original view of the city, imbued with a haunting tension and the bittersweet paradox that is Venice.
Matthias Schaller, born in Dillingen in 1965, studied cultural anthropology. His work has been exhibited at the Goethe-Institut New York and at Biennale di Architettura in Venice. He received the Ci Art Award in 2004. He lives in Venice and New York. Steidl has published his previous books, The Mill and Purple Desks.
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