Structured by an austere ensemble of verticals and diagonals, Axel Hütte’s photograph, taken inside the Palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina in Venice, presents itself to the eye not primarily as the depiction of a tangible space but rather as an arrangement of lines and color fields in the flat surface of the picture. The interior shot wards off any expectation of a documentary registration of the architectural situation. Our gaze, guided into the picture in accordance with the rules of one-point perspective, finds itself stopped abruptly in the corner of the room. The glaring light falling through the cracks in the shutters and illuminating the painted tympanum in the palazzo, which was built in the early eighteenth century and has housed the Prada Foundation’s art collection since 2011, is dramatic and cool at once; the overexposure effectively foregrounds the photographic surface and counteracts the rigidity of the perspectival composition. As in many of Hütte’s architecture photographs, the deliberate framing of the motif in the grid of its pictorial logic highlights marginal elements: in this instance, the red switch in the corner and the wallpaper printed with an imitation-curtain pattern—fringing the windows and doorframe, it is part of a work by Thomas Demand and defamiliarized in the print by the mirror effect. Everything conveys an impression of indeterminate specificity: of the contemporary use of the palazzo as a showcase of contemporary art, rendered anonymous by a clean utilitarian aesthetic.
The work is part of a cycle of Venetian pictures on display, together with night shots of Asian megacities, at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa on Piazza di San Marco during this year’s Architecture Biennial.
Axel Hütte, "Ca‘Corner della Regina-3", 2012/2014, Print on mirror board, paper size: 59.5 × 50 cm, image size: 46 × 36 cm, Edition: 100 + 20 A.P., numbered and signed on the back, € 350.– plus shipping.