Friday, April 17, 2009

Saving us from Saving Venice

Yesterday, I participated in a panel discussion at the Clark museum in Williamstown that was entitled "Monuments in Peril: Venice".  I really enjoyed meeting our hostess, the director of collections at the Clark, Kathleen Morris, and the three other panelists: Ralph Lieberman, who spent several years in Venice right after the flood of 1966, Frederick Ilchman, who curated the ongoing MFA show on Tintoretto, Veronese and Titian, and E.J. Johnson, who teaches at Williams and has been researching, among other things, the evolution of theater in Venice.  All of them share my passion for Venice and were great companions and conversationalists both on and off the stage .  The soiree was well attended and my presentation was well received, according to feedback I heard from attendees, including WPI trustee Steve Rubin and his wife Tracy (who volunteers and the MFA), who flew in and out for the occasion. 
As part of the continuing experimentation with 2.0 technologies, I am including my whole powerpoint below using a new service called "slideshare".  Check it out and let me know what you think! 
(I already noticed that animations don't work... so we need to experiment some more)

As you can see in the presentation, the gist of my contribution to the discussion revolved around two rather provocative questions, prompted by the session's title:

1) What exactly is in peril in Venice?
2) Where does the peril come from?

I think our provocations hit the mark (especially the dome and coke graphics produced by Kyle) judging by the number of  questions that the audience asked at the end, despite the longer-than-expected duration of the event.  I look forward to a continuing dialog with my newfound friends in the coming years...  I will start by going to see the MFA exhibit tomorrow afternoon.  Hopefully I will get a personalized tour by Frederick himself!

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