Marco Polo in Venice

2015

In response to her 10-day residency in Venice as one of the participating artists for the Johannesburg Pavillion at the Venice Biennale Anthea worked with Alberto Alberti, a professional lifeguard at Lido beach. The short sinking boat animation was a sketch for a performance that was never realised.

 

Exploring tensions between frivolous play and dark play – when does the scream of excitement or joy become a cry for help - Moys playfully interweaves the professional practice of lifeguarding with the popular children's game Marco Polo - itself a reference to the famous Venetian explorer and merchant. It is said that the reason why the game was developed was because Marco Polo did not really know where he was going, that he was in a way ‘travelling blind’ and a bit lost in the world. In a sense, this short film is a poem and responds to very current issues around the climate crisis and the sinking city of Venice as well as home and migration.

"Dark play subverts order, dissolves frames, breaks its own rules, so that the playing itself is in danger of being destroyed" - Richard Schechner