reflexes: Venice and its Lagoon.
Bridges, churches, palaces and towers reflects themseleves on
the water and identify its millenial history of sea-based city,
navigators and sailors.
reflexes: New York and its bay. The skyscrapers, towers,
the thousand lights that are reflected and identify the modern
city, vibrant and vital centre of the economic and financial power.
Two different cities, but similar in the natural element that
unites them : water, the sea.
Venice and the St. Mark's tower:
New York and the Metropolitan Life Tower: two symbols able to
evidence the diversity and at the same time the architectural
linearity with similar poportionality to identify the element
that licking up the two cities it unities them. An artist, a master
sculptor picks up this similarity, it brings banck the St. Mark's
tower and the Metropolitan Tower in one only body, to snatch and
to reproduce in its simbology the element that unify Venice and
New York: the water
and the Industrial City:
water reflexes of trembling lights of the factories slowly extinguishing,
able to mirror in its water channels the decadence and at the
same time capacity of change and transformation.
Marghera, identified as the place of the industrial production,
becomes the laboratory of the artistic idea and construction of
the body able to unify the St. mark;s tower and the Metropolitan
Life Tower, symbolical merge of the two cities: Venice and New
We hope this
masterpiece will represent and drive engineering, creativity and
appointment of the so-called "Laboratory Marghera".
Venice City deputy counselor for Venice promotion
Renato Panciera, Venice City
deputy counselor for culture,education and sport
Bell tower of St. Mark
representation of the real proportions of the two buildings that
has inspired Teacher Giorgio Bortoli's work
first project of the sculpture "Venice - New York" done
by hand directly free from the Teacher Giorgio Bortoli
inspirations and symbolisms
year 1511, dogado of Leonardo Loredan, earth trembles. Houses,
buildings and towers seem to dance a music that the nature imposes
him. Then a boato and as a giant "el dad of the bell tower"
it shatters him to the ground in so many small pebbles. And'
from here that the history of this work starts. In this moment
it was decided to inspire him to the project of George Spavento
and to build before even more a tall tower of the, that lengthened
the more possible up to touch the sky (98,60 ms.). From that
height you/he/she would be been able to dominate the whole city,
observing the life of the citizens up to the islands, the activities
of the "foresti" in theirs "fonteghi" and
among the calluses, the ships that entered from the sea.
With his/her height and majesty the power of the great city
would be shown, I bring of sea that picked up to its inside
all the races and that for first it organized him to be able
to contain, to integrate and to compare him with other cultures,
modifying to this purpose his/her own structure urbanism and
architectural. Venice invented the ghettos (subdivision in "fonteghi",
only places in which the "foresti" you/they could
develop his/her own activities) and it developed the Byzantine
With to strike of his the bell tower of St. Mark you toll it
dominated the life of all the citizens and "foresti"
and the five bells, each with a name and a different function,
imposed the hours, the suppers, the retreat, the silences, the
reunions, the deaths.
With the angel of thick gold, sets to the summit of the bell
tower, the figure of the Doge would be recreated that held up
the moral life, religious, politics, organizational and economic
some capital of the Mediterranean and whoever had wanted to
pass you. They picked up all the techniques of the time to raise
this rampart from the mobile and unstable foundations of the
city and they was chosen the best stones coming from the friends
earths istriane. But the disaster of the earthquake inevitably
seems to accompany the history of this giant that was struck,
once more, from the nature July 14 th 1902. The fall of the
bell tower aroused a terrible effect on the lovers of the city
and been decided to reconstruct him/it "where it was and
as it was." Hermann Hesse wrote: "I have approached
in plaza full of expectations. The absence of the bell tower
ago a terrible effect. My idea that the plaza had been able
to purchase in sobriety it was wrong."
The times are changed: the Mediteranneo and Venice have lost
their importance to surrender her/it, at first to the other
sea of name ocean, then to the sky, in which you/they sail fast
he/she anchors I'uomo it tries to build more and more tall towers
and it develops technologies to finally succeed in touching the
Just in 1909, few years after the collapse of the bell tower,
to New York, new capital of the economic world, of the sciences,
of the arts and of the cinema, an insurance company decided to
show its record building the tallest tower of the world, the Metropolitan
Life Tower (213 meters, old record in 1913 with the construction
of the Woolworth Building).
skyscraper, new center of the insurance company, was built on
image of the bell tower of St. Mark of Venice, not for ideological
reasons, on the contrary "as the bell tower of the old continent"
to distinguish the profile of the skyscraper in the skyline in
There is a thin profile that unites the cities of Venice and New
York, that it passes through the sea and the history: old and
new world; capitals of the art, of the science, of the architecture;
centers of the echo-nomia and of the commerce in different times.
Teacher Giorgio Bortoli's archiscultura represents the historical
connection that the two towers make to assist, the one in the
other, during the passage of the witness: the greatness of once
passed that you/he/she is overcome; the immoderate growth of all
the things that brings from the first multiracial city of the
today's metropolis multiculturale; the progress of the techniques
and the materials that passes from an economy that he/she sees
the record of the glass of they Wall up to another in which I'acciaio
takes the upper hand.
Both the towers represent the power: the first one from which
it was possible to observe the life of the citizens and to articulate,
with the you toll some bells, a to be able legitimated by the
tradition, from the religion and from the laws economic-politics;
the second from which the feeling of subjection of the economic
power arrives in more indirect way but as many binding.
There is finally Marghera, the City in transformation, that changes
and it is retrained, that experiments new institutional runs with
Marghera, a young territory and also it I aim of meeting of about
ten thousand of people bearers of different cultures and put together
by the job offered by Porto Marghera.
Also Marghera is a City of water and really this element will
allow the work, once ended, to connect himself/herself/themselves
to Venice for I'inizio of a trip thought for making to know the
beautiful things that Marghera is able to realize thanks to his/her
generous hospitality and the union of that material, the glass
and the steel, that the history in Venice and New York has marked.
Teacher Bortoli to the job in his/her laboratory to the Alberonis (Beach
two cuspidis to comparison, bell tower of S. Marco to the left and Metropolitan
Life Tower to the right
central body of the sculpture
sculpture in trip along the Canal Grande in Venice, while you/he/she
is being moved from Teacher Bortoli's Laboratory toward the plaza of
the town of Marghera for the last retouches
sculpture in trip along the Canal Grande in Venice
sculpture while he is being loaded to Porto Marghera
job also continues during the winter under a special protection
job also continues during the winter under a special protection
architectural sculpture tall 12 meters it assembles in an only body
the bell tower of St. Mark and the skyscraper of the Metropolitan Life
Tower in New York. The used Materials represent the modernity with the
steel and the history, the art and the search with the glass. The colorations
and the specchiatures of the steel give a heat and a vivacity to this
material non known, that am the fruit of the various experimentations
effected in the creative run of the artist.
glass is inserted in more parts: in the bell tower of St. Mark with colored
vanished tiles and with the angel in gold dust zecchino; in the Metropolitan
on the angular pinnacles and on the stately decorated pyramidal steeple
II I play of lights inside the bell tower of St. Mark you/he/she has been
studied for arousing feelings of movement as the buildings that him specchiano
at night on the water of the channels in Venice.
Four great clocks will lean out on the sides of the tower of the Metropolitan
to mark the time in Venice and New York and on its summit you/he/she will
be put an illuminated lantern.
II hung general of the ended work is esteemed in around 1800 kilos.
Teacher Bortoli to the job inside his/her sculpture, installed temporarily
on the Plaza of Marghera
sculpture with I break down him/it some Lagoon in Venice
Teacher Bortoli together with the admiral Paolo Pagnottella and of
sculpture where it is currently found, inside the airport Mark Polo
work of sculptor Giorgio Bortoli comes to Venice via water thanks to
an interesting process of experimentation with the rnaterials and the
skilled techniques of glass-making involving Murano and, through the
Municipality of Marghera, the Venetian mainland area. Before conclud-i
ng its itinerary, in New York, the archi-sculpture will make a journey
along the final stretch of the Grand Canal, from Palazzo Ferro Fini
to the Basin of St Mark.
work assumes an important significance because it interprets and conveys
the idea of tbc unity of our territory and expresses immutable values
and symbols. With great admiration 1 should like to thank all who have
made this initiative possible, and I turn with particular gratitude to
the artist who has elaborated these images of Venice and of Marghera in
such an original way.
Paolo Costa Mayor of Venice
of the cuspide of the Metropolitan Life Tower
of the cuspide of the bell tower of S. Marco with the angel realized
in Murano glass
of the sculpture with the Statue of the Liberty engraved with mastery
on the steel
sculpture "Venice - New York" disguised as nighttime with
his device of inside illumination
Bortoli and the paradox of Venice
Venice is dead.
Venice is alive. Venice is about to die. A recent late roman-tic and
decadent myth would have Venice a portend of death. And Thomas Mann
had his say. And so it's the subject of irrational fantasies and imaginary
tales of poisons, spells, sorcery and madness. Instead, Venice is
the metaphor of life and hovers between Being and Nothing-exactly
Re existence, according to Plato's teachings. And this is the basis
for its perpetuity. Where yesterday there was a flourishing and heavily
populated island, today tlvere is a stretch of water: Where today
there is a stretch of water, tomorrow there'll be ali island covered
with houses and palaces. Venice transforms and does not die; this
is the guarantee of its success.
the triumphant denial of nature and of her laws, the f fruit of the
continual struggle between man and nature> and rnarks a vic-tory
for mankind, who shrewdly pretends io be on the side of nature, but
only in order to get the better of her. Therefore, nature cannot kill
Venice; only mankind can do that through ignorance or egoism. Venice
lives. Venice wants to live. But it does not live if they save the
stones and they chase away the people. A city is where its inhabitants
are. Giorgio Bortoli knows this. And he knows too that art can confer
that existence on Venice that the recent histor y of mankind would
refuse it. Venice produces art. Venice can produce life. And Giorgio
Bortoli's art is not a tribute to Venice; it is a living and active
rnoment of the real state of Venice. For those who use Venice (and
are of no use to Venice) this city is merely a "logo", a
pres-tigious image to snatch, or a "venue" for placing art
produced elsewhere. For Giorgio Bortoli Venice is part of himself
And his art is ali authentic moment in the life of Venice.
Who is Giorgio
Bortoli? He belongs to a very Venetian family. In Venice everyone
knows who the Bortoli are. No sooner had printing been invented towards
the end of the 16th century than they were a family of printers. In
the early 20th century, when people still hardly knew what elec-tricity
was, grandfather Luigi and his brothers Ettore and Giacomo founded
and operated an electric plant and installation business. Altogether
a sense of enterprise, a taste for innovation and an awareness of
progress are factors stamped in his DNA. He is a sculptor, but he
has a strongly innovative conception of sculpture. Naturally he knows
how to work with marble and bronze, he knows how to cast, and with
a chisel he can draw a dancingfigure out of a formless mass. But how
to interpret the sense and the significance of our society today?
How to understand alit] to make understood the direction we should
be taking? Giorgio Bortoli is not resigned to the conditions of a
Venice identical to itself, immobile and immutable; and is not content
with the city's embalmment for the use and consumption of outsiders.
And so, as soon as he can, among other and dif-ferent arguments that
vitalize and give substance to his art, he thinks about how Venice
should be: he wants it alive and active; and uses the most widely
differing materials, pushing sculpture to the limits and work-ing
on archisculpture, like this work that blends the incisiveness of
sculpture with the spatiality of architecture. Though, with his very
determined and clearcut innovation he never loses sight of reality,
of the subject. Twentieth century avantgarde, abstraction and the
informal are behind him. And by now also behind us. The future is
waiting for him. Would to heaven that his future were also a future
for our city.
Prof. Bruno Rosada
From 24 October
last it was on display for three or four months in the Piazza Mercato
(the market place) at Marghera, and well received by the people. Now
it floats on the waters of the lagoon. And this too has a symbolic value.
This agile archi-sculpture, i.e., an installation of a spe-cial kind,
is a mix of architecture and sculpture standing 21 metres high, the
work of Venetian sculptor Giorgio Bortoli.
Commissioned by the Municipality of Marghera (the Venice City Council)
and produced by the Marghera-Venice-New Yorkk Associa-tion, "it
represents the bell tower of St
Mark's contained in the interior of the Metropolitan Life Tower of New
York" - as the inscription placed at the foot of the structure
states. The Metropoli-tan Life Tower - constructed in 1909 and the highest
building in the world until 1913 - was a design architect Le Brun based
on the bell tower of St Mark, almost as though to transplant a breath
of old Europe into American territory; and for this reason it was chosen
by Giorgio Bortoli as a "con-tainer" for the bell tower of
St Mark that seems to shelter in its interior.
The evident purpose is to demonstrate a requirement and a desire that
moder-nity in all its forms does not wipe out the past (whose preservation
is cul-ture); that it safeguards it and takes due lessons from it. It
is a structure with marry symbolic values, starting from the materials
used, where steel, a clear symbol of modernity, is placed alongside
glass - the symbol of Venetian craftsmanship - and fragments of the
ancient bell tower of St Mark that collapsed in 1902, fragments at that
time tipped into the sea and recently retrieved by the sculptor offshore
from San Niccolò on the Lido. But there is another element that
should be high-
lighted. Like every work of art, this too represents what it represents,
but not only what it represents. Beyond the works and the symbols there
are meanings. The high number of Veneto companies that have desired
to spon-sor this work and the initiative that
goes hand in hand with it does mean something: it confirms the Veneto's
prestigious, abundant, enterprising work in the world, and at the same
time it reminds us how this fortunate phase of economic expansion was
preceded by the trials and tribulations of emigration: but, however
you look at it, as enterprise or manual labour, it is still work.
cover of the poster realized for the exposure of the work of George
Bortoli to the fiftieth International Exposure of art in Venice
Teacher Bortoli while it is finishing up the particular ones of
the "Statue of the Liberty"
GAZZETTINO - INSIDE THE CITY'
Domenica October 27 th 2002
"With glass and steel I have melted Venice and New York"
Nell' architectural sculpture inaugurated to Marghera they are also
there some fragments recovered from the bell tower collapsed in
idea matured in four years, two of which of real job, around an
only idea: the bond among Venice and New York, that he has pushed
the sculptor Venetian George Bortoli, 44 years, to realize in
the "yard - event" of Market plaza, to Marghera, an
architectural sculpture in glass and steel, where the bell tower
of St. Mark melts him in a skyscraper in Manhattan.
Venice and New York: as he has done to see a bond among two so
Idea was born four years ago, talking to Massimo Cacciari. With
the water as common element and the citizens always with the head
to the insù, to see the skyscrapers or the sky above the
calluses, has come me spontaneous to unite the two cities. Then,
through a search to the Iuav, I have discovered that there was
a further point of contact: in 1902, the year of the collapse
of the bell tower of St. Mark, to New York the Metropolitan Life
Tower rose, that looks case it has a double height in comparison
to the bell tower. This way, to one century day distance, has
pen-sato to a work that it contained another of it.
Road doing the tragedy of September 11 has arrived, that has approached
New York to the whole world, and therefore also in Venice. "The
emotion and the competition of solidarity towards America he has
given an acceleration to the job and he has favored some personal
contacts. I have had the opportunity of knowing to Venice a team
of officers of the fire in New York, which I have given a fused
sculpture above a find of the fire of the Phoenix. And my sculpture,
that he/she will remain to Marghera up to Christmas, will transfer
then him to Venice and following New York."
people appreciated this match between Venice and New York?
"II I contact with the people, in the yard - event organized
by the Municipality of Marghera in Market plaza, has been a beautiful
experience. Here I have found again my people, genuine and sometimes
criticism, and the interest of his/her/their children has struck
me. One, have seen particularly my sculpture as a castle, and
you/he/she has told me that he would have inserted a staircase
snail. I had also thought there me."
Which materials has he used for melting two cities and two so
different buildings in one?
"Glass and steel, worked first of all with tools to tall
technological content. But also material classical: for the bell
tower of St. Mark I have also used bronze and gold zecchino in
the tiles produced to they Wall up. And also bricks of the old
The collapsed one?
"Yes, I have recovered them of person to St. Nicolò,
where the tide has brought them to shore after you/they had been
thrown in sea. A marmista has worked them and then they have been
inserted in the bell tower."
Difficult, for an artist, to detach herself from Venice..,
"Yes, even if not always be understand effortless as artists.
In a world in which it dominates the globalization and the individualism
the thick artist he finds again only, and it feels him small as
a child. At times I wonder me if has been a fortune or an adversity
to be a sculptor. And I have started to six."
But now that its sculpture is ended, as he feels?
"As emptied, after so much work. But also happy for this
experience with the people of Marghera. Now I hope that is Venice,
next it covers some sculpture, to help me."