Monday, 29 September 2014

Minor Project Idea

For my minor project I would like to create an environment based on Giovanni Battista Piranesi's series of 16 etchings "The Prisons" (Carceri).

Piranesi's prisons series takes on from what our perspective could be called "Kaficaesque" *, "Escher" *-like distortion, seemingly erecting fantastic labyrinthine structures, epic in volume, they are "Caprricci" *, whimsical aggregates of monumental architecture and ruin.

* Kafka's writing has inspired the term "Kafkaesque", used to describe concepts and situations reminiscent of his work, particularly Der Process and "Die Verwandlung". Examples include instances in which bureaucracies overpower people, often in a surreal, nightmarish milieu which evokes feelings of senselessness, disorientation, and helplessness. Characters in a Kafkaesque setting often lack a clear course of action to escape a labyrinthine situation. Kafkaesque elements often appear in existential works, but the term has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical. Numerous films and television works have been described as Kafkaesque, and the style is particularly prominent in dystopian science fiction. Works in this genre that have been thus described include Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil and the 1998 science fiction film noir, Dark City. Films from other genres which have been similarly described include The Tenant (1976) and Barton Fink (1991). The television series The Prisoner is also frequently described as Kafkaesque.

* M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspiredwoodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

Selection of M. C. Escher's work

* Capriccio means especially an architectural fantasy, placing together buildings, archaeological remains and other architectural elements in fictional and often fantastical combinations, perhaps with staffage of figures. This genre was perfected by Marco Ricci but its best-known proponent was the artist Giovanni Paolo Pannini. This style was extended in the 1740s by Canaletto in his etched vedute ideale, and works by Piranesi and his imitators.

Selection of Marco Ricci's paintings
Selection of (Giovanni Antonio Canal) Canaletto's work
Carcere oscura, Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Piranesi took up architecture as a profession through his father. His mothers brother Matteo Lucchesi is with whom his education was entrusted. Piranesi studied perspective with Carlo Zucchi and as an essential complementary subject, stage-design with the famous Bibiena family. However there was little place for a young Venetian architect so he decided to perfect himself in the art of engraving. One of the plates Carcere oscura from his first series Prima Parte di architetture e prospettive, directly inspired by stage-design, was to appear in 1743 as a prelude to the most celebrated of the artist's suites, the Prisons. 
It is thought that Canaletto, marco Ricci and perhaps Guardi influenced Piranesi and most notably Teipolo. 

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