Venice, Italy, 2018
From Honoring the Future:
When Dalya Luttwak was invited to create a sculpture for the Venice Biennale, she asked, “How can I honor Venice?” Global Warning: First Tropical Mangrove in Venice is her profound, inspiring sculptural answer.
Mangroves do not grow in Venice, but they are potent symbols for their role in protecting coastal zones in warmer climes. Hardy and ingenuous, mangroves thrive where salt, temperature, and water levels vary with the tide. Their roots, like stilts, prop their breathing pores above muddy water. The roots work in concert, forming massive structures that disperse waves and trap sediment, protecting coastlines from hurricanes, tsunamis, and erosion. And they host a wide diversity of marine organisms – oysters, shrimp, and crabs – that support the coastal food chain.
“Mangroves are resilient because they are adapted to highly challenging environments,” observes Fran Dubrowski, Director of Honoring the Future. Dalya Luttwak’s sculpture is a metaphor for the challenge facing Venetians and their 500,000+ Biennale visitors. “Can we, like the mangroves, meet the test of our time – climate change – and respond as creatively and cooperatively? Her fire-engine red sculpture sounds a warning, but its soaring 10-foot height, set against Venice’s landmarks, expresses optimism that we are up to the task,” Dubrowski adds.
(Final photo — Credit: Maxwell MacKenzie)