Artist: Wendy Krochmal + Architect: Bobby Fogel
Fort Intemporal was a site-specific project created by artist Wendy Krochmal and architect Bobby Fogel focusing on the revaluation of our environment. It was in building number 29 of Forte Marghera, a former 19th-century fortress part of the lagoon’s defensive system, just a few miles from the centre of Venice. The mark of time has left the roofless building eroded with cracked floors and aged walls, yet the spirit of the place remains.
To accentuate and honour the tradition of this crumbling space, Krochmal and Fogel used the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi to reinforce the fractures caused by years of neglect, rendering the imperfections of the building unique and beautiful. In the tradition of Kintsugi, golden lacquer is used to emphasise imperfections and to make the mends and seams a distinctive and delicate part of the object, or in this case, of the place. Kintsugi has similarities with the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. It consists in embracing the flawed or imperfect and is also related to the Japanese philosophy of Mushin, which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of the human condition. This ideology is applicable to life. It encourages us to respect what is damaged and wounded, vulnerable and imperfect.
At Fort Intemporal the golden lacquer was replaced with a mixture of topaz and golden coloured fragments of Murano glass, set in the cracks and crevices of the floor and walls of the building.
The golden glass enhances the lines of damage, embracing the flaws of the space without trying to hide or repair them. A new temporary function has been set for building number 29 at Forte Marghera. From being a former arsenal to a somewhat neglected park depot, it has become a place for gathering people’s thoughts through their experience of the space. Events open to the public were planned to take place in this provisional space.