It was love at first sight. Well, almost first sight. First, outside the train station, I wanted a sandwich for under $5. I didn’t find one. But as soon schlepped my bag onto the vaparetto and saw the moldering buildings sprouting from the lagoon – Love. Or so I thought. I was 19 and studying abroad. Narcissistic in a typical way, the city existed only for me – I got drunk, I got lost, I left.
But maybe it was love. After graduation, I took an internship whose main attraction was a visa. I was surprised when things looked different in the city that time forgot. In art Disneyland for grown-ups I run late for work – again. A tourist has stopped short in front of me on a narrow bridge – again. To take a photo – again: a bridge, a gondolier, a pigeon. I learn to appreciate Spritz Aperol, I get lost, I leave.
Years go by. I’m an intern with nicer title and a Master’s degree. I’mstill in love. I see a website with a photo of domes and canals in the sunset – a PhD in Art Theory. The worldwide web has been good to me.
My love surprises me still. I arrive at the hotel by bus. Lido, a whole new mystery. I know where to find a sandwich for under $5, but have a spritz and gelato instead. Art Disneyland awaits me. I don’t take any pictures. The Biennale and the incessant footfalls of “30 Days of Running in Place,” another city, in Egypt – a revolution and a dead artist. I love the infamous Italian pavilion, and question my taste, for darkness and beauty, combined. I get lost, I leave, and still, I’m in love.
Venice, my petit object a, the city through which I see myself.