How would you describe the interiors of palazzi from the time that Venice’s power and wealth was at its height? Decadent, luxurious and glittering, but would you describe them as disfunctional? To Carpenters Workshop Gallery, the term ‘dysfunction’ is not, as we might think, negative, but related to art it is positively positive:
‘DYSFUNCTIONAL rethinks the boundaries of art.
‘DYSFUNCTIONAL recognises permeability between art and function.
‘DYSFUNCTIONAL know art is what happens when artists engage with the world.
‘DYSFUNCTIONAL knows that too much time is spent demarcating where painting, poetry or sculpture end, and where utility or function begin.’
On that basis, Venetian architecture, interior design and art is disfunctional, to which you can add the unique reflections of the swirling waters of the canals, washing up the walls and into the lower floors of the palazzi. Venice itself is, in a very positive sense DYSFUNCTIONAL.
The Ca’d'Oro designed by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon and built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, one of the most important families in Venice of which eight members were Doges between 1043 and 1676, has a Ventian Gothic facade which has been the inspiration for paintings and architecture around the world. Its last owner, Baron Giorgio Franchetti collected art and restored the palazzi as a suitable home in which to display his collection.
If that isn’t enough to see on a visit, Carpenters Workshop Gallery have filled the historic rooms with amazingly DYSFUNCTIONAL contemporary furniture, lighting and objects by a host of artists including Nacho Carbonell, Wendell Castle, Vincenzo de Coiis, Studio Drift, Marten Baas, Stuart Haygarth, Vincent Dubourg, Atelier Van Lieshout, Random International, the Verheven Twins and Rick Owens in what is undoubtedly one of the best shows within the city itself during this year’s Venice Biennale.