Sei Ore: Capturing the Eternal Rhythms of the Venetian Lagoon | Erica Zelante

Sei Ore’ (Italian for ‘Six Hours’) focuses on the lagoon of Venice and its intricate ecosystem. The title is derived from the popular Venetian saying “Six hours it grows, six hours it falls,” representing the ebb and flow of the tide through the “bocche di porto” connecting the lagoon to the Adriatic Sea.

This ongoing project is a result of my continuous observation of my native city, Venice, and the ecosystem of its lagoon. It is a visual research of ancient rhythms between sky and water where the hours are marked by tidal cycles.

Humans must observe and respect the natural cycles interacting with the environment. It is not nature that must bend to human needs. This is one of the aspects that motivates me to explore the lagoon, looking for signs of this relationship.

The city of Venice, as a matter of space, does not have a lot of public green areas, therefore, locals reconnect with nature by going out in the lagoon. All the variations that man imposed on the Venetian area have to deal with a stubborn resistance that is not inclined to be tamed; each upheaval will produce consequences. Venice cannot expand for geographical reasons, and it cannot adhere to the drastic development that has guided our social model in recent years.

Venetians learn from an early age to live in the condition of humans in an environment with natural rhythms, in a state of philosophical acceptance. This is precisely one of the principles of the locus amoenus: a place where a sort of eternal season reigns, where nothing changes, nothing is subject to distortion, and where man’s presence is intrinsic to the environment and not a source of disruption.

Words and Photos by Erica Zelante