Published by Factum Arte
Printed by Julio Soto impresores, Madrid
Double disc DVD and 24 page booklet
With a text by John Wilton-Ely
To enter Grégoire Dupond's virtual environment of Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzione is to penetrate what Margaret Yourcenar has called Piranesi's dark brain. Each of the 16 prints has been transformed into a viscerally real space. Described by Victor Hugo as the "horrifying Babel Piranesi dreamed of", these prints were reputedly etched after an attack of delirious fever, and they have continued to exert a powerful hold on our collective imagination ever since their first publication in 1749. In the Carceri d'Invenzione Piranesi's uniquely Venetian caprice is combined with the darker visions of baroque excess.
Grégoire Dupond's 12 minute performance of the Carceri celebrates the potential of new technology, and the complexity of Piranesi's multi-layered vision. It was made specifically for the exhibition, Le Arti di Piranesi: architetto, incisore, antiquario, vedutista, designer at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice.
This special edition DVD is presented with a second disk containing high-resolution versions of the Carceri d'Invenzione from the collection of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. each etching can be viewed at great magnification to reveal the breathtaking freedom of Piranesi's draftmanship.
Both DVD's are accompanied by a 24 page booklet with text by Pasquale Gagliardi, John Wilton-Ely, Norman Rosenthal and Adam Lowe.
To watch Imaginary Prisons, Piranesi's chilling cycle of etchings, transformed into a three-dimensional film is to enter a Wagnerian nightmare remade by Polanski.
Rachel Spence, Financial Times