Emerging from the Grand Canal, right next to Ca’ D’Oro: “Support“, a work of art by Lorenzo Quinn, no longer exhibited in Venice.

Support” spreads a message of awareness and hope, to help us reflect on the impact that our actions have on the environment in which we live and therefore understand its importance for our future.

Two enormous hands, almost ten meters high and white as chalk, have emerged from the water of the Grand Canal and extend their fingers until they touch the pink plastered façade of Ca’ Sagredo. They are strong and gentle hands, immobile in the act of supporting the beautiful sixteenth-century palace, now home to the Ca’ Sagredo hotel, next to Ca’ D’Oro. They are hands that have power, the “power to love, to create, to destroy”. The hands that the artist Lorenzo Quinn sculpted on the occasion of the fifty-seventh edition of the Venice Biennale, the International Art Exhibition which took place from 13 May to 26 November 2017.

Support” is a simple and immediate representation to communicate a message that reaches directly to the heart of those who look at it: “Venice is a floating city of art that has inspired culture for centuries but to continue to do so it requires the support of ours and future generations because it is threatened by climate change and degradation”. It is a message that aims to raise public awareness on issues such as global warming and its consequences, interaction with nature and the environment around us; it is a message of hope because those hands, which represent those of a child, have the possibility to choose whether to safeguard or destroy and in their act the fate of the “fragile” Venetian palace, of the lagoon city and as a whole of the world and of all of us: “In doing so we made history”.

This is why on May 12th, hoisted by a crane on board a barge, the two hands plowed through the green lagoon under a slightly overcast sky, crossed the Giudecca Canal, parading in front of the Molino Stucky, at Zattere, at Zitelle and at Punta della Dogana, and then entered the Grand Canal and continued their navigation passing in front of the Basilica della Salute, under the Accademia and Rialto bridges, under the amazed gaze of the people looking out from the banks, from the parapets of the bridges and from the vaporettos to photograph or film the event.

The forearms that emerged from the water of the Grand Canal had veins in relief and muscles tense in the effort to support the façade of Palazzo Sagredo, on which they rested delicately, arousing wonder, amazement and admiration in the eyes of those who looked; their silent message remains imprinted even today, after their removal.