Established 120 years ago, the Venice Biennale is regarded as one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world, and attracts over 500,000 visitors annually. With this year's exhibition titled May You Live In Interesting Times, it was no surprise that the captivating story behind Lorenzo Quinn's monumental sculpture stole the show.
Unveiled at the 58th Biennale in 2019, Lorenzo Quinn's Building Bridges is his most ambitious project to date. Installed adjacent to the entrance to the Arsenale, the six pairs of hands are titled ‘Help’, ‘Love’, ‘Friendship’, ‘Faith’, ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Hope’ to depict six of humanity's universal values. Embodying Venice's rich history, Lorenzo's monumental sculpture engages with the city as an ancient cultural legacy fusing this with the contemporary. As a great European trade power, Venice has withstood the tests of the plague, multiple wars and natural disasters, yet continues to attract tourists in their millions. As people come from around the globe to visit this unique city, Quinn's message of unity is only reinforced.
Standing at 15 metres above the old shipyards and 20 metres wide the resin fibre sculpture took several weeks to assemble. Aptly positioned in the city of bridges, the white finish sits harmoniously alongside the historic architecture of Venice.
The title Building Bridges symbolises the unity of people in all aspects of life - geographically, spiritually, philosophically, culturally and emotionally. The clasp of the hands enforces the people's need to have contact and to strive for collaboration instead of self-interest.
"It is about the future of our children and future generations. It is about humanity."
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