Coloration of the Grand Canal, Venice

Nicolás García Uriburu Argentine

Not on view

García Uriburu participated in the international neo avant-garde movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s as a pioneer of land art and ecological art. On June 19, 1968, he dyed the waters of Venice’s Grand Canal green with a fluorescent dye called Fluorescein. The action, created on the occasion of the 34th Venice Biennale but not as part of its official program, aimed to bring attention to the relationship between nature and civilization and to promote ecological consciousness as a critical part of culture. Fluorescein is a manufactured organic dye developed by NASA for scientific purposes and is ecologically harmless. García Uriburu’s action transformed the landscape of the Italian city for the course of one day, with its waters fluorescent green until the low tide made the dye gradually disappear. Besides recording the event with film and photography, the artist kept a group of bottles of the colored water as a testament to his artistic intervention.

Coloration of the Grand Canal, Venice, Nicolás García Uriburu (Argentine, Buenos Aires 1937–2016 Buenos Aires), Chromogenic print

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