Marian Vanzetto

Marian Vanzetto was born in Feltre in 1974. After receiving her diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti of Venice, and after spending one semester at the College of Fine Art of Falmouth, Marian Vanzetto went on to complete a Masters degree full grades in Production and Planning of Visual Arts at the IUAV University of Architecture, Venice, where she attended courses and workshops in photography and visual arts held by world renowned exponents and experts, including Joseph Kosuth, Lewis Baltz, Guido Guidi, Antonì Muntadas, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Armin Linke, Marco Zanta, Angela Vettese, and Giorgio Agamben.

Expressing herself predominantly through photography and video, since 2003 – the year in which she was selected for the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa’s 87th Collective –, Marian Vanzetto has explored concepts of contemporary landscape and the portrait in everyday contexts.

Her work has been exhibited at Galleria Bevacqua Panigai in Treviso (2011); Palazzo Fogazzaro in Schio, (2011); Abra Atelier in Padova (2011); Fondazione Francesco Fabbri in Pieve di Soligo (2012); Spazio Navicelli in Pisa (2012); Palazzo Giacomelli in Treviso (2013); Galleria La Salizada in Venezia (2012-2013); The Painters Gallery, Fleischmanns, New York (2012-2013); MIA Art Fair, Milano (2013).


Marian Vanzetto’s photographs, especially her emotionally charged, nostalgic black and white landscapes, bring to mind the grand tradition of Romanticism. Even though the stylistic pedigree is undeniable, the way the artist uses this tradition is not easy to decipher. She doesn’t simply reference the style, but rather searches for ideas which are still resonant in contemporary art making.

Today, what makes the Romantic tradition appealing is certainly not sentimental longing or melancholy, nor the ideal of beauty with its notion of “sublime” or “picturesque”. It is rather the discourse about limits of reason, the search for a place where emotion rules over the will to organize, the belief that an inner fantasy world can be explored in the physical reality. That exploration of the physical realm in search of inner fantasy is characteristic of Marian Vanzetto’s work.

Her black and white photographs capture every detail, every subtle change in the continuous spectrum of tone. On one end there is the radiance of reflected light, and on the other, the very deep black of shadow. Density of detail, layering of foreground, middle-ground and background, create a sense of three dimensional space – lush, sensuous, inviting.

This striving for technical accuracy might represent a Romantic belief that the image holds spiritual value through its sublime qualities. It might also represent a more contemporary attitude. If rich enough, the representation of a certain place provides room to discover something which can be captured only by chance, never by calculation. This notion was well described by Walter Benjamin in his ”Short Essay on Photography”: «Photography makes aware for the first time the optical unconscious, just as psychoanalysis discloses the instinctual unconscious». This is what Marian Vanzetto’s images offer. They convey a sense of longing: to find the inner self in the outside world.

Wanda Siedlecka

Photo Gallery
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