Listening to the Palazzo Grassi, Venice.

palazzo grassi rud stingel
The Palazzo Grassi is currently devoting its entire 5,000 square metre space to an exhibition by Rudolf Stingel. This is an immense exhibition in which Stingel has covered the Palazzo Grassi with carpeting based on motifs found on oriental rugs. This acknowledges the historical, architectural and artistic context of Venice whilst also referencing Stingel’s own heritage.
What was immediately apparent upon entering the exhibition space was an omni-directional low frequency drone. The sound added a sense of doom to the huge, red, carpeted space. At first we thought the drone was part of the installation, however we learnt that it was merely the sound of the air-conditioning.

rudolf stingel
Listening to this ever-present drone we wondered if Stingel was aware of how the sound would shape the gallery patron’s experience and interpretation of the work, or if indeed he had noticed it at all.

Rudolf Stingel untitled
As we walked from floor to floor the frequency of the sound changed. In turn this re-shaped our way of interpreting the tone of the rooms and artwork, some of which were photo-realistic images of death.


Walking through the Palazzo Grassi was an intense experience, made all the more so by the interplay between sound and image. Interestingly the official statement for Stingel’s show claims that “The architectural space becomes a meditation place, a silent and enveloping site of introjection and projection”.

For more information about the exhibition follow this link.

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