A Tourist in Porto Marghera
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I started looking at Venice from Porto Marghera. It might seen risky to begin a reflection on Porto Marghera from the city in standing in front of it., but this subterranean, not – always – conscious thought had accompanied me until a few years ago whwn this project took wing. Not only because in the thought and in the declaration of those who wanted it the double thread binds Venice to Porto Marghera was the cause of its birth, but also because both places reflect an image of reality so consolidated within us to appear immutable.
These are place to which, immediatly, even wihout having visited them, we associate images that become the places themselves. Venice is one of those places, arduous in thought, wary as is of promises, suggestions and diversity.. But as I soon had to realize,a large industrial area – phisically more segregated and, in reality, less well-known, marginal despite a very vaste production – already has its genetic legacy of images carried within us over time.
From the beginning the dissonance between the image of reality stemming from this “genetics legacy” and that which I was eperemneting in my wanderings in PortoMarghera was one of the mosrt difficulties obstacles I had to encounter. Thus, I began working on Porto Marghera intent on touching first hand the reality my grandparents had dreamt and constructed fifty, a hundred years ago, though, for me this directly – inherited reality is as distant as the Pyramids.
Being in front of Porto Marghera is like being in front of the Pyramids or, less exotically, in front of Venice – or a world whose representation is no longer entrusted to its resident but rather to who, at any time, observes it from frontier of his present, outside of the time and thought that generated it.
Porto Marghera's fate is strange. It was founded to keep Venice abresat of the new economic and social reality that in early -1900s weighed heavily on the scale and, over time, transformed in the most motral enemy of the city that had generated it. It stood in front of my eyes, splendidly outstretched before Venice, the porteait of Dorian Gray on a landscape scale, of a city we are no longer capable of thinking of from our present. Tp photograph Porto Marghera is to photograph the Venezie of our time: perhaps one day in a not so distant future groups of tourist will swarm among the factories and chimneys as they do now in the Venice calli or around Pyramids.
I've tried to let every image transpire both the world of the subjects and my world observing it, to let emerge at the same time – from every image taken by a tourist in Porto Marghera – the obtuse and ambiguous question: who are you?

Fulvio Orsenigo
Written for the catalogue of the exhibitions
Venezia_Marghera XLVII Biennale d'Arte, Venezia 1997

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