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Giant Hands Emerge From a Venice Canal to Raise Climate Change Awareness

Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn’s massive new sculpture, 'Support,' is a stark warning on the impact of rising sea levels.

by Nathaniel Ainley
May 15 2017, 7:18pm

Images courtesy of Marina Garcia-Vasquez

Earlier this year, VICE covered a recent report on climate change that claimed, if we fail to slow down the rate of rising sea levels, Venice will be completely underwater in a century. This critical environmental issue is addressed explicitly in the monumental sculpture, Support, by Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn. The new work went up with this year's Venice Biennale and shows two enormous hands emerging from the Grand Canal to hold up the Ca' Sagredo Hotel, a 14th-century Byzantine-Gothic style building and a cultural landmark for the city. The two hands grasp a corner of the building in a position that suggests they are keeping the structure from sinking into the canal. Conversely, the hands can also be understood as a physical manifestation of the rising tides: erupting out of the water to dismantle and drown the hotel where it stands.

In a recent Instagram post about the piece, Quinn says he "wants to speak to the people in a clear, simple and direct way through the innocent hands of a child and it evokes a powerful message which is that united we can make a stand to curb the climate change that affects us all." A different picture posted to the artist's Instagram shows a team of handlers installing the sculpture using a crane and a small fleet of canal boats. At night, Support is lit up by a flood light that's been stationed on one of the hotel's balconies located just above the sculpture.

Support is on display from now until November 26th. Check out more work by Lorzeno Quinn on his website.

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