Venice holds an interesting position as a city steeped in history, yet also at the cutting edge of contemporary art. And with the 57th International Art Biennale getting set to open, surprising art is already starting to pop up in the lagoon. Installed on May 13, Lorenzo Quinn‘s monumental sculpture installation Support is already making a splash.
After sailing down the Grand Canal, the enormous hands—created with the lost wax method—were installed to seemingly prop up the sides of the Ca' Sagredo Hotel. A historic building that dates back to the 14th century, the Ca' Sagredo was transformed into a luxury hotel within the last 10 years, a fate that befalls many historic homes along the Grand Canal. This transformation allows for the upkeep of Venice's history, but also supports the influx of tourism that the city thrives upon.
Balance is key to Quinn's work. “Reflecting on the two sides of human nature, the creative and the destructive, as well as the capacity for humans to act and make an impact on history and the environment, Quinn addresses the ability for humans to make a change and re-balance the world around them—environmentally, economically, socially,” shares the Halycon Gallery, which represents the artist.
The artist, who has had art commissioned by the United Nations and the Vatican, selected hands as his subject both because they are technically difficult to execute and also because “the hand holds so much power – the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy.”
For him, the project is a case of art supporting art, with Support both literally and figuratively drawing attention to the delicate nature of Venice. “Venice is a floating art city that has inspired cultures for centuries, but to continue to do so it needs the support of our generation and future ones, because it is threatened by climate change and time decay,” Quinn reminds us.