Etty Yaniv: Inversion at Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy (Review)

Installation view, Etty Yaniv: Inversion at Palazzo Mora in Venice.

April 23rd and runs through Nov 27th

Images courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Mora

Etty Yaniv’s new installation in Venice is a continuation of her practice of working with repurposed and recycled materials. In this site-specific formulation, Yaniv’s accumulations of fibrous materials spill through space – ceilings, walls, floors – moving through the environment in a fluid takeover. The exhibition is hosted on the third floor of the Palazzo Mora, in a 1:1 scale replica of the artist’s Brooklyn studio. Collapsing our sense of location and geography, Yaniv merges her home environment with Venice. The idea speaks strongly to the feelings of isolation and the relentless familiarity experienced by many during the Covid era and demonstrates a potent display of the artist’s sense of ‘inversion’.

Bringing the outside world into the intimacy of an interior setting, Yaniv explores the exhibition’s specific backdrop through contemplation of Venice’s well-known geography. Drawing on a variety of scientific tools, Yaniv builds a reference to the watery Venetian landscape within the exhibition space. These include photographic documentation of rising sea levels and satellite imagery but most notable is the reference to bathymetric imaging of the seafloor, the underwater equivalent to a topographic survey.

Etty Yaniv next to her installation “Inversion” at Palazzo Mora in Venice.

The mapping of the Venetian seafloor illustrates a human modification of the submarine environment from dredging, shipping, infrastructure, and litter – a cartography of change. The morphology of the city’s waterways as the city responds to human influence is read into Yaniv’s sculptural articulations. Clustered structures maneuver through the room. A sense of liquid motion carries Yaniv’s forms as they travel through her environment. Our attention is drawn in all directions, challenging our perspective with sculptural forms denying earthly gravity – a point that reminds the viewer that this is, after all, Venice with its history of ceiling painting.

The lightweight and biomorphic quality of her creations seems to deny their tangible and almost sublime material nature. The spaces in between are important, like quiet pauses in a musical score. This is an environment for the human body to move through, providing the fluvial kinetics essential to the work and inverting our indoor/outdoor and dryland/aquatic dichotomies.


– Tim Wright

Installation view, Etty Yaniv: Inversion at Palazzo Mora in Venice.
Installation view, Etty Yaniv: Inversion at Palazzo Mora in Venice.
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