Artwork > Venice 2013-2015

interpreting the subject of immigration, displacement, and memory, this body of work is based on my own experiences, and Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark—a collection of essays about city of Venice.
I started working on this series during the January 2013 Venice Printmaking Studio residency, continued during the summer 2014 residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia in Venice, Italy.

Having read Brodsky’s work prior to my first in-person encounter with the city of Venice, I was struck by the uncanny sensation of having memories of a place I was seeing for the first time. I too see an immigrant’s physical and temporal displacement with an odd, non-romantic nostalgia, feeling more at home than at home. Where, as Svetlana Boym observed in The Future of Nostalgia: no longer anchored in native soil, memory itself becomes diasporic.

This work fluctuating between first-hand representation, and re-telling, borrowing the nostalgic recollections of others, disrupts visual and architectural space and draws attention to the act of seeing. Joseph Brodsky’s fragmented Venetian imagery of sound, light, and water corresponds to sequences of cinematic spaces, where distance fluctuates between physical and temporal. I am fascinated by the printmaking and drawing medium potential to evoke similar temporal experiences.

Collages of hand drawn and appropriated images, hand written diary notes and fragile glass vessels, as well as severely etched and cracked copper plates demonstrate an awareness of their own histories. To anchor the dissolving, fragile heap of memories and tales, I utilize the renaissance one-point perspective and picture plane/window metaphors.

Shifting between documentary reconstruction and poetic melodrama, my works’ formal relationships of picture plane and cinematic space intermingle with personal, artistic, and political ambitions, raising questions about the nature of immigrant dislocations and the unrealized dream of homeland.

Exhibited n Xi'an Academy of Fine Art Inspired by the city of Venice, Italy and Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark, a collection of essays about Venice Developed  during the January 2013 Venice Printmaking Studio large format print residency.
Intaglio, digital video projection
8' x 9'
2013
Venice Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark mariana smith
Intaglio, digital video projection
2013
Acqua Alta (installation view)
Intaglio, monotype, gold leaf, letterpress
2015
Time Thickens in Venice
digital video projection
2013
Mariana Smith, Venice,
intaglio, drawing, gold leaf
86" x 42"
2013
Detail
2013
Xi'an, China academy, etching, printmaking
Intaglio
2013