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Lorenzo Quinn: Souls of Venice – Anime di Venezia

"Anime di Venezia – Souls of Venice" is the new creation

of Italian-American artist Lorenzo Quinn, which will be on display in Venice from 20th

April to 15th September 2024, commemorating the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s

death and coinciding with the 60th Art Biennale.


By CLAUDIA PINZINI

June, 2024




The building for the art exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2024


"Anime di Venezia – Souls of Venice" is the new creation

of Italian-American artist Lorenzo Quinn, which will be on display in Venice from 20th

April to 15th September 2024, commemorating the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s

death and coinciding with the 60th Art Biennale.


Comprised of 15 statues made of a metallic mesh weave of thousands of links, the

installation presents some of the most significant ‘Souls’ that have lived over the

centuries of the Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima, sealing the

union and symbiosis between the city and all its artistic expressions that have seen

these Venetians as the protagonists that have helped make the city immortal.


The fascinating installation is located in the Atrium of Ca' Rezzonico, the splendid and

imposing building overlooking the Grand Canal and designed by Baldassare

Longhena, home to the Museum of Eighteenth-Century Venice. It is a refreshing and

iconic project that indelibly marks the bond of love between Venice and Lorenzo

Quinn.


"Anime de Venezia – Souls of Venice" is indeed an absolute novelty in Quinn's

production: for the first time, a work with a historical background, designed specifically

for the museum, "comes to life" thanks to the introduction of a contemporary tool:

augmented reality, expressed through a poetic and magical vision.



Art installation at the Venice Biennale 2024


THE STATUES SPEAK


Creating the effect of a gallery of statues, one additional facet of Lorenzo Quinn's

installation is that the 15 "Souls" can speak. In fact, by scanning the QR code next to

each statue with one's smartphone, visitors have the opportunity to download an

application through which each metallic figure when captured on screen "transforms"

into an augmented reality image of each character (represented in the clothing of their

historical period) who "speaks" uttering phrases that refer to themselves and their

special relationship with Venice. In practice, thanks to the smartphone and the

dedicated application, the metallic mesh statues virtually come to life, demonstrating

how many and what "Souls" populate the rich history of the Serenissima.


It should be noted that the project, created in collaboration with the Civic Museums

Foundation, enjoys the patronage of the City of Venice and the Committee for the

Marco Polo 700 Celebrations. The Exhibition at Ca' Rezzonico has had an exceptional

preview: since last April 6, the Quinn statue depicting Marco Polo welcomes the visitor

to the Doge's Palace, right at the entrance to the Doge's Apartments, to celebrate the

occasion of "The worlds of Marco Polo. The journey of a Venetian merchant of the

Thirteenth century," the main grand event-exhibition of the Polo celebrations,

organised by the Civic Museums Foundation that is open until September 29, 2024.



Artist Lorenzo quinn posing with his art at the Venice Biennale 2024


THE “SOULS” DI CA’ REZZONICO:

AN ACT OF LOVE FOR VENICE THAT EMBRACES THE WORLD


In addition to the statue of Marco Polo already present at the Doge's Palace, visitors

in Ca'Rezzonico will be able to admire the metallic mesh statues depicting Lorenzo

Tiepolo, Caterina Corner, Veronica Franco, Elena Lucrezia Corner Piscopia, Carlo

Goldoni, Antonio Vivaldi, Marietta Barovier, Elisabetta Caminer Turra, Andrea Palladio,

Antonio Canova, Tiziano Vecellio, Rosalba Carriera, Giacomo Casanova and the

'universal' Marco Polo, which is symbolically represented by the figure of the Gondolier.



 

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The installation invites everyone to take action and 'save Venice and the whole world'.

"Venice, in its entirety – past, present, and future – has inspired this installation, which

aims to symbolise my 'journey' into the soul of the city," explains Lorenzo Quinn. “It is

a homage to all the 'Souls' that have lived here and will continue to do so for eternity.”

"Through artistic expression, individuals strive to articulate their past and present

experiences. These statues, portraying notable Venetians, both women and men, stand

as testaments to the singular nature of our existence as 'works of art,' crafted by the

hands of Mother Earth herself.


They serve as poignant reminders that our duty topreserve extends beyond Venice alone; it encompasses the entirety of our planet. 'To saveVenice is to save the world’.

Venice epitomises freedom, once a bastion of great power and now a symbol of climatic fragility.

It is a place where art has been honed over the centuries. Through these statues, this legacy persists, transcending time - from the past to the present day and perhaps beyond, into eternity,” concludes Quinn.





"Lorenzo Quinn’s Ca’ Rezzonico project enriches the line-up of contemporary art

exhibitions in the city, merging past and future. It is a tribute to Venice and its historical

figures, who come alive in Quinn's interactive works and remind us, in line with the

museum’s mission, how culture and historical heritage, as expressed in these collections,

remain relevant in the present day," Mariacristina Gribaudi, President of MUVE

commented.


Chiara Squarcina, the project’s curator, reflects: "Immortality has long been

associated with the soul, never the body. The eternal essence of the soul is being

contrasted with the fleeting nature of materiality and this is vividly captured in Lorenzo

Quinn's project. These figures, etched in our collective memory, evoke the beauty of

recollection, offering a first glimpse into their identities. Yet, this serves merely as the

prelude to an extraordinary encounter —a visual journey that will allow us to connect

with these characters anew, thanks to Quinn’s use of immersive virtual reality”.



Art Installation at the Biennale in Venice


According to Alberto Toso Fei, who leads the artistic direction of the project, "Venice

is the epicentre of time. It's where everything that ever was, is, and will be, converges

into an uninterrupted 'forever'.


The souls featured in this journey—chosen among a

myriad of possibilities—are voices that populate every present, because Venice is made

up of every aspect of its past. They are men and women who, by fully experiencing it,

have reshaped Venice to make it what it is: they have created it, and in recounting their

own tales, they tell the story of Venice. Despite the passage of time and the historical

transitions witnessed in these spaces, fragments of them endure in Venice, eternally.

Together, they define the essence of Venice, the city of cities, with which they are forever

linked in a legacy that this work cements."


Lorenza Lain, the Project Coordinator, notes: "This installation is designed for the

Marco Polo celebrations and crafted specifically for Ca’ Rezzonico, a project Lorenzo has

dedicated himself to over the past year. It revolves around two central themes: Venice,

the city of cities, from which everything originates— encapsulated by Bruno Tosi's

observation: 'Venice is the oldest city of the future'; and Marco Polo, the famed Venetian

figure, brought to life through immersive reality. He becomes both the narrator and the

lens through which this journey, both physical and spiritual, is experienced. In Lorenzo's

imagination, these figures not only 'embody' Venice but also permanently capture its

eternal essence. It's an ode to beauty, much like the iconic 'Support' hands he crafted for

Ca' Sagredo."


Patrizia Zambelli, Architect and Technical Director, concludes: "Venice encapsulates

everything within itself, embodying both the present and the future. It's a journey

through the centuries of its rich essence, expressed in art, architecture, music, and

theatre—the legacies of its great souls. Venice is the ultimate journey."




EXHIBITION INFORMATION


Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del 700 Veneziano

20 April - 15 September 2024

Opening Hours: 10.00am - 19.00pm

Free Admission


Palazzo Ducale

Until 29 September 2024

The worlds of Marco Polo. The journey of a thirteenth-century Venetian merchant

Opening Hours 10.00am - 19.00pm

Entry with Exhibition Ticket


Curator: Chiara Squarcina

Artistic Director: Alberto Toso Fei

Project Co-ordinator: Lorenza Lain

Technical Director: Patrizia Zambelli

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