Venetian “briccole” at the BiVillage

Artwork briccole by Enrico Marcato

The journey from Venice to Croatia of the artwork briccole by Enrico Marcato

In Munich, in the elegant surroundings of the Lodenfrey Park, the BiHoliday group presented the summer season 2023 to the foreign press.

To do so, they chose an original art project, entitled “I Say Art“: narrating a journey. The project involves the two villages managed by the group: BiVillage in Croatia and San Francesco Village in Caorle.

What are briccole?

Briccole are wooden poles – installed up to thousands already at the time of the Serenissima, on which the city physically stands. They characterise the Venetian lagoon and have many uses: they are precious “signposts” fundamental for finding one’s way among the shallows, they are instruments used to moor boats along the canals, they are also supports – they can be recognised by their T-shaped head – indispensable for holding up piers..

Three briccole, first exhibited in Venice on the occasion of the recent Biennale Arte exhibition, have been resettled from the atelier of the artist Enrico Marcato to a stretch of coastline in Croatia, at the BiVillage.

The artworks have been placed in such a place that guests of the village and anyone walking along the promenade will be able to admire them. In order to give the idea of the project, a smaller measuring briccola was brought to Munich and exhibited for presentation.

Once such wooden poles come to the end of their lives, Marcato initiates them for reuse, turning them into artworks.

I tried and experimented until I found something specific to Enrico: the Venetian briccole, depicted from 1500 onwards by any artist in their paintings: from Tintoretto to Canaletto, just to name a couple. They are the silent guardians of Venice.

Therefore, 15 years ago I started to retrieve them and apply strokes of colour to make them look alive again. If we talk about this BiHoliday-related project, the one thing that gratifies me, from the human point of view, is knowing that my artwork has travelled from Venice – the mother city – all the way to Croatia.

And the BiVillage in Fažana, where they are installed, is a mirror image of Venice.

Where else is it possible to see artwork briccole other than in Croatia?

Many of them are held in private collections. However, in Miami you can see them, standing outside the Cipriani Restaurant.

In Montreal, Canada, they are located at the Aldo Bensadoun Foundation. Then some are in Paris, in Ibiza. And now also in Croatia.

Art as a language of values

BiHoliday embraces Art as a language of values, as well as expressing that Art-Activism which today allows us to talk about socially significant issues.

These include BiHoliday emphasising the value of an area and its respect for everything that surrounds it, such as the reuse of materials (and the revival of the briccole is an actual example of this).

But the project does not end here. There is also a second part that will be revealed shortly, and that will complete the Italy-Croatia journey, in the opposite direction.

The artist

Enrico Marcato

Enrico Marcato, 47, lives between Padua and Venice, where he has his atelier. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.

He worked as an artisan and pursued his passion for painting.

Subsequently, he had an inspiration that led him to work on briccole. Among the first to believe in his artwork was Arrigo Ciprian, owner of Harry’s Bar.