Venice was always one of the historical stages of the world, ideal scenery for innovatory masters, mainly in these times during the Biennale.
As the world changes and the masters of the struggle for the survival are the artists of contemporary life, art can turn into a mean of expression for the Africans who arrive in Lampedusa.
This project aims to present these refugees works of Art, irresistible while being contemplated. In principle unwanted in Europe, the work and their creators are contributing to the creation of a transforming platform regarding to the public opinion of the subject.

A democratic gesture, a trace of humanity, a message of light.

Bodies of light of great dimensions (between 3 and 4m. of height) float on 10 gondolas in transit on the waters of Venice during the period of the exhibition.
Each body, each sculpture will show with authenticity letters, dreams, necessities and wishes, painted, written and modeled, of people, who cannot go to Venice but the content of their souls can.

As based on deep respect for individuality the biggest impact of social transformation of the work of these “new” artists, both for the observer and for the participants themselves, takes place when the work becomes "Collective".
Since a sculpture of a "Light Body" results from the joining of several individual works it can adopt different forms and dimensions in accordance with the intention of the presentation.
Important for the installation of these works in public areas it to take into account the environmental and architectural features as well as the local habits of conviviality. The "presence" of these Bodies supposes to provide a balance between the communication and esthetic needs of the refugees, the general needs of the inhabitants of Venice and the expectations of the visitors of the Biennale.
The plasticity of the works practices an irresistible attraction for the observer due to the factor LIGHT. However at the same time the content is worrying them. In fact the "fascination" exceeds resistances and creates ideal conditions for a confrontation with social, political and cultural subjects in leisure moments, which makes a reflection possible.
The general proposal is to create a healthy cell in the society with the intention of a continuing of it´s proliferation autonomously.
The works will present themselves to the public like the refugees are arriving in Lampedusa: unexpected. This provokes a peace-loving breakage of barriers, which benefits all of us. That is in a philosophical sense what the artist couple considers as “Collective“.

Initially the project leading couple of artists travels for 2 weeks to Lampedusa and Venice to analyse the working conditions and to develop a more detailed plan of realization and organization. In Lam-pedusa one of the objectives is to gain the final collaboration of the institutions that are already active like Caritas, NGO´s and the mayor herself, who founded a care centre especially for children and adolescents.
These information of local study lead to raise an art-team of 5 to 10 experienced people, volunteers, art-therapists and artists of the Soziale Plastik, so that it is possible to work with the highest number possible of refugees as well as with their respective biographies.
In the sequence a favorable space is necessary to give the work a beginning. It can be a bigger tent, class rooms or a sporting ground. At this stage the support of the local organs is of great importance and therefore the personal contact is the basis for credible transmission.
The whole material needed for the project can be bought in Lampedusa. This makes transport easy and supports the local economy. In case some of the refugees are carpenters, etc. they can help building the wooden frames and fixing the canvas/fiberglass.
The short journey to discover the specific and local circumstances is already the beginning to the practical part, to mark dates for the arrival and the needs of the art-team in Lampedusa and to
arrange visits to the refugees' fields to explain the objectives of the project and the importance of the participation, which will always be of free will.
The second journey of 8 weeks will be the first period to create the Light Bodies from Lampedusa. This process consists in the awakening of the creativity, each human being carries inside from birth, through the strengthening of the identity itself. To achieve that target the groups of refugees will take turns.
Emotions, thoughts, reports, ideas and dreams of the refugees assume colors and forms, figurative or abstract. When this process is finished, the works follow to Venice.

As well as Marco Polo did the route of Venice for the countries of Africa and Asia putting different cultures in contact, the same diplomacy is applied now in the reverse sense. The works will represent the Africans in Venice, with human artistic objectives.
The lanterns will be transported to a working space in Venice, preferably a shed with access to water, in order to mount the artworks on the gondolas.

The gondola is the romantic symbol of Venice where everybody wants to be at least once in a lifetime including the refugees. It is therefore very symbolically.
The continuity of the projects work is to install “Light Bodies from Lampedusa” in 10 gondolas, which will remain in transit on the waters of Venice during the period of the Biennale of 2015.
Since the gondolas are mostly relatively spacious the gondoliers will be able to keep on working with tourists even with the works of art on board, which turns this means of transport into a truthful "highlight".
The installation is done with steel wire and offers as often already experienced ideal conditions of security and stability. Any used material is furthermore resistant and weatherproofed.
The “Light Bodies” will be illuminated from inside by effective lamps with the use of rechargeable batteries (with the use of solar energy).
During the day the works of great dimensions are disposed by the natural light and compose a moving lively gallery.
Whereas during night the illuminated works attract a different attention and the reflections of ”lights and explanations” on the waters and canals complement the magic of the city.
The maintenance service like exchanging burned lamps or the substituting and /or to addition of other works takes place during the whole exhibition period.
Since the number of painted lanterns will be superior to the quantity necessary for the production of 10 bodies the mounting continues parallel during the period of the exhibition. This diversity creates the dynamic of the presentation of every single lantern. Totally democratic, nothing repeats, every-thing is in transformation.

Any century’s beginning has a search: a visionary character that usually shows the tendencies that are going to influence the world´s next future. Inside this process the art-team tries to thematize sustainability through complementary cultures of equal beings. The practice of humanitarian gestures ends being only a religious attitude or ethics and now assumes an essential condition of peaceloving survival in between humans, cultures and continents.
The key expression of this historical moment is a fast transformation. We all realize that daily. The fear that always helped the manipulators to drive their flocks is finishing simply because millions of human beings have nothing more to lose. Reactions on that can produce destructive or creative movements.
The basic question is still: "Why do we not have more courage and think about positive solutions? Albert Einstein indicated this way while quoting: "Fantasy is more important than wisdom, because wisdom is limited.”
Thinking without limits about pacifistic proposals is to believe in the imaginary universe and the possibilities of the realization of dreams. THE SOCIAL CO-DESIGN for example already exceeded the stage of the fantasy and became real in countless communities, both in the province and in big cities across the globe. Not long ago most of the people of Berlin prevented in an autonomous way the shut down airport Tempelhof from constructions in general. A peaceful and democratic attitude for the continuity of a free land of ideas that changed the course of the city for the future.
This popular decision was originated in a collective dream.
Another collective dream is being happy. However in a society dis-equilibrated and separated into several levels, mainly financial, emotional and intellectual, the pain remains. Injustices provoke more differences... lacking of acceptance and love.... violence. So the people stop believing in their dreams.
How to break the vicious circle? Having imagination.
Like Da Vinci fantasized helicopters and submarines one day, refugees from Lampedusa fantasize to eat well, have a roof over their head and work and live in peace with their families. A legitimate dream that makes thousands of people risk their lives to be able to carry it out. However in a society that throws 1/3 of its food away a fantasy so basic cannot be difficult to come true. Perhaps the first step is to transmit convincing information through ART.
The earth does not belong to humanity, humanity is part of it. We all are complementary beings, interdependent. Therefore the dream of Sofia Camargo, Thomas E.J. Klasen, the whole art-team and of all the participants is to use the giant platform of the Biennale of Venice 2015 to help create a new "glance" on an archaic subject: Humanity. bild 1-web.jpgöhlich.jpgöhlich.jpg