Venice 2017 – With The Unplayed Notes Factory, French artist Loris Gréaud resurrected a former glass furnace at Campiello della Pescheria on the isle of Murano. Shaken by a strange choreography, the factory’s history takes shape again and rambles at the rate of ovens burning, glass volumes turning solid and breaking, smokescreens evaporating, outlines whose glow sometimes echoes the flare of certain vanities.
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“The spaces of the revived glass furnace which closed over 609 years ago are turned into a true tableau vivant.’’ Says Loris Gréaud to Archipanic. The immersive installation plays also host to a whole new trade: an unofficial hourglasses production line which is thought to conceal the mysterious vitrification of hourglass’ sand, with an almost alchemical ambition to crystallize time.
The exhibition slowly rises from the waves to outline, on the lagoon’s horizon, the shadow of a ghost ship in which time and space seem to merge.
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Secrecy is a keyword recurring in the art project. “In 1201, the Venetian Senate forced Venice’s glass blowers to settle on Murano island in order to protect the secrecy of glass-making processes. Ever since, each glass furnace on Murano has jealously guarded its trade secrets.”
Visitors are invited to venture out to the island of Murano to explore a building which seems haunted by the memory of those who once occupied it. “Temporarily reactivated, the factory dreams – dreams that sometimes turn into nightmares – and drifts before going out eternally.”
The Unplayed Notes Factory is on show until November 26 on the occasion of Venice Art Biennale. The exhibition is curated by Nicolas Bourriaud and is part of the Glasstress initiative organised by the Fondazione Berengo at Palazzo Franchetti.
All photos: courtesy of Loris Gréaud, Nicolas Bourriaud and Fondazione Berengo.