Under the clear blue sky in late May, I arrived in Venice. Yes, by boat, which took me over one and a half hour to travel from Marco Polo airport to Zattere station near the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (PGC). I would say that the shuttle boat might be one of the slowest means of transportation I’ve ever taken, but it was actually the most pleasant way that one could tune into the dynamics of the city.
There are no cars in Venice (after you get off the bus at Piazzale Roma, you’ll either be walking or taking a boat). To everyone coming from the U.S., that is a totally different sensation. Not hearing cars rushing past you and honing at each other, all I feel is an interesting tranquility. In Venice, it’s not like the countryside where things are quiet, but there is a tranquility within the very vitality of the city. People walking in the “calles”, by the canal, all seem to be blending in this special dynamism, no matter whether they are tourists coming here for the first day, or residents who have been living here for a long time. That might be the magic of being a “Venetian”.
My internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection starts on May 31st, the second day after I arrived. Our training day consists of a tour around all the galleries and learning about our responsibilities each working day. Before I came, I had little idea of how an institution like the Guggenheim would operate each day, and I got to know the details on my very first day. It is so much more complicated that you would think of it simply as a “museum” from an outsider’s perspective. The opening, rotation, and closing involve the efforts of each and everyone of us. If one person is not at his or her station 10 minutes before 10 a.m., the museum is not able to open. Each of us will also do several 30- or 15-minute talks in front of the visitors about the history of the museum (“Peggy Talk”) or about specific artworks or artists in the collection. I hope to experience the entire process tomorrow on my first work day and learn more about each responsibility during the course of my two-month internship.