Basilica I, 2006
Photograph, 12 x 8 cm
Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne
© Victor Burgin
VOYAGE TO ITALY
KAISER WILHELM MUSEUM
Voyage to Italy is a suite of three works by the British artist Victor Burgin: a single screen video projection with sound, and two photo-text works. All images were made in the Basilica at Pompeii. The work stages an exchange between an architectural site, an early documentary photograph and a classic narrative film.
“The point of departure for my work is an image of a woman standing in a classical ruin. The photograph, from a nineteenth-century album of photographs of Pompeii by Carlo Fratacci, is captioned ‘Basilica’. I encountered the image in the photographic archive at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, where I was invited to make a work in response to the collection. In Pompeii I made two 360 degree panoramic views of the Basilica: one from the position of the woman in Fratacci’s picture, the other from the point-of-view of the photographer. I also photographed each of the columns that delineate the rectangular space in which the woman stands.” Victor Burgin
Victor Burgin (born 1941) is a pioneer and theorist of conceptual art, which has given precedent to the idea over the outward material appearance of an artwork since the 1960s. The video installation Voyage to Italy enters into a dialogue with the oeuvre of the landscape painter Adolf Höninghaus, which is being presented for the first time in the exhibition The Insatiable Eye. Two artists in different centuries share the same travel destination: Italy. Both artists consequently occupy themselves with existing imagery and notions, creating in the process their own ‘picture of Italy’ by means of a reproducing gaze.