In 2015, Helidon Xhixha created the work entitled Iceberg for the 56th Venice Art Biennale, a monumental stainless-steel sculpture with a mirror finish, which was left to float across the Venice lagoon until reaching the island of San Servolo. It reflects the city of Venice and its fast-disappearing aquatic environment, while at the same time underlining the increasing threat of global warming and its effect on raising sea levels.
The use of light and the reflectiveness of the materials – as a metaphor for the reflection of our condition and the variety of our perceptions – are features that underpin the work of Xhixha. This new work is a new “reflection” on what surrounds us, in this case on the objectives of technology and on how it must not get in the way of self-aware, human relationships.
Big Data makes it possible – as in many other works by the artist – for the surrounding space to be reinterpreted, distorted, emphasised, and so forth; and the surrounding space is also that of the technology and the data that surround us and are now ubiquitous, but which must not force us to compromise the centrality of mankind.
The work was commissioned by the Alberto Peruzzo Foundation to mark its participation in the Venice Pavilion project for the 16th Architecture Biennale.