Spatial Collapse: The Venetolona Pavilion

All I’m going to do is try to describe this picture I took yesterday in the Venetian Macau because there is a lot going on here and I’m trying to get it straight.

The image is an advert for a luxury watch brand used as a hoarding during a shop fit. It’s a picture of a sophisticated European guy leaning on a wall in the Barcelona Pavilion. The image bends around a corner to follow the plan of the Venetians retail promenade. which makes the 2D image feel more 3D (as well as warping the pictorial space of the Barcelona Pavilion with a diagonal contradicting Mies’ rectilinearity) . The image is sliced to accommodate the real columns of the building, which as you can see are approximations of Venice. The scale and position of the photographic Barcelona Pavilion and the Venetian columns is close enough to set up a kind of oscillation between the two – as though they were operating as part of the same space.

So, just to recap the full and complex collapse of historical-geographical-cultural collapse that’s happening here:

What we’re looking at here is a warped image of the reconstruction of the original Barcelona Pavilion interrupted by real (through rhetorical, non-structural) columns of a copy of an original city that itself is a second generation copy of another copy of that original city.

What’s strange is that this concertinaing of references into a single frame almost works (whatever ‘work’ might mean here), almost seems completely normal.

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  1. Jonathan says:

    Great photo and observation – layers of copying inhabited by a cool giant with a pricey watch and doors for legs.

  2. MM Jones says:

    Terrific juxtaposition of the faux-classical and the faux-modern as the visual language of global luxury. Great the way the fellow leans against one column, while considering the other. The marble of the Barcelona column that the guy leans against, and the red checkerboard tile of the actual floor, match enough to further transcend frontier between the advertisement and the corridor. The black threshold stone in the floor at either side of the Venetian column is also approximately oriented along the vanishing lines of the floor tiles in the advert, focusing on this makes gives a momentary visual suggestion that the Pavilion is angled on a ramp that could tip into the corridor. So ridiculous.

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