I didn't go to the new Punta della Dogana museum when it first opened at the beginning of June. I decided to go and see it yesterday, a Wednesday,the day of the week when Venetian residents can enter the museum for free. It was exciting to enter the dogana for the first time in my life, and its transformation into a museum of contemporary art is very handsome indeed. Even if I didn't care for some of the things on view, I liked the variety. Some pieces, I had seen before at Palazzo Grassi. But without question, the most extraordinary work was the Jake and Dinos Chapman's installation, Fucking Hell. I recommend searching out a link to images of this. I recently read several books set during World War II (Jenna Blum's Those Who Save Us takes place in part in Buchenwald's stone quarry) is most applicable), and Antonia Arslan's books on the Armenian genocide, so seeing the Chapman work right now was timely for me.
We ate lunch at the Guggenheim, then went through the (late) Rauschenberg sculpture show and admired the gothic tower on the terrace. We came home, sapped by the high, hot sun, and I napped until 5 pm.
In the evening, geesepalace
agreed to row me to the vicinity of San Marco so that I could listen to Andrea Bocelli's live concert. I had not bought a ticket - the prices had seemed excessively high, but I figured that I would be able to hear it from outside the piazza. I was dropped off near the Bacino Orseolo. Access to the piazza was guarded by police, but I found a perfect listening spot with excellent sound at the sotoportego of the Correr entrance. It turned out that this was directly behind the stage. I leaned against a column and made two drawings while I was standing there listening. The program included most of the drop-dead tenor arias and duets, as well as some choral works and orchestral interludes. The finale, no surprise, was Con Te Partiro', which earned Bocelli the total adulation of the crowd. (After the concert I went into the piazza and saw that the singers were on risers behind the orchestra, so I realized that my listening place was pretty much directly behind the singers. So we had the benefit of hearing them without the microphones. I also realized that the performers had the best view, for they were the ones facing the Piazza and facade of San Marco. It must be a pretty exhilarating experience to perform there...though, granted, Bocelli couldn't see it, but maybe he could feel the space). I wouldn't be surprised if some videos of the concert have already appeared on YouTube.