Harmony of the People
Monumental Sculpture, bronze, 2011 – measurements 23 ft high, 16.5 ft wide, 11,000 lbs
Permanently installed in Wanjia Plaza, Pudong, Shanghai, China
In September 2010, Beatriz Gerenstein was commissioned to create a monumental sculpture to be permanently placed in Wanjia Plaza, Pudong, Shanghai, China, based on her sculpture “Dancing in the Sky” from her collection “Together”.
In this artwork, we find humanity dancing and rejoicing in the divine creation. Gerenstein approaches this subject through the allegorical representation of trees whose branches metamorphose into human beings. These dynamic figures are dancing, holding hands, and supporting each other. From a small nuclear family to a large gathering of people, Gerenstein sculptures revolve around the different aspects of life, from its philosophical and religious roots to its fruits and perpetual renewal.
“Harmony of the People” represents the joy shared by all these figures dancing together. They are all different, each moving in their own way, and yet, they all evoke the harmonious flow of a group in sync. As in life itself, the figures in the sculpture go beyond their differences to achieve a collective goal. It is a group choreography that takes each and all parts moving independently to come together in a coherent form and dance together in harmony.
Beatriz Gerenstein worked closely with the metal foundry experts to bring to life this monumental sculpture that was finally installed and unveiled in 2011. Measuring 7 meters in height, 5 meters in diameter and weighing 5 tons (23 ft high, 16.5 ft wide, 11,000 lbs), the monument is a homage to humanity’s capacity for love, strength and its spirit of cooperation. To this date, people congregate in the evenings for communal activities under its peaceful presence, in the bidirectional discourse of art imitating life and vice-versa.
The Third Partner
at the Giardino della Marinaressa
16th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2018
We, human beings, undertake many activities in which share or cooperate with a common goal. It can be business, work, love, envy, or war. What makes us social entities? What is it that allows or encourages us to be partners in our ventures?
No doubt, there is something special. We can call it with many names or represent that “something” in different ways. But, in one way or another, we all feel that there is a singular energy that makes us social, which makes us establish relationships with our peers. This energy is like an added partner in each relationship. That’s what I call “The Third Partner.”
A knot is in the center of the sculpture. Three ends come from it. Two are going down, towards the earth. Another end, our Third Partner, comes out of the knot on its upper face and heads upwards, towards the heavens. The universal energy finds in this end a Third Partner, a channel to give what is necessary for the human being to be human.
As a sculptor, I do not hesitate to use different medium, techniques, and even aesthetic trends to emphasize my message. I work mainly with bronze and stainless steel. Still, I often use organic materials like manila rope, exotic woods, feathers, and semi-precious stones.
For “The Third Partner,” I chose to use stainless steel with a polished surface with a mirror finish for its reflective characteristics. One of the good qualities of the human being is being able to be in solidarity with others. For that, the essential thing is to be willing to give. Give love, attention, time, advice, or money.
The brightness of the lights, the green, brown and blue colors coming from the Giardino and the Venice laguna are reflected on the surface of The Third Partner represents the desire to receive and give back, to help and share with others.
As public art, my hope is that during this exhibition, The Third Partner will contribute and reflect the spirit and culture of Venice. I want my work to have a positive impact not only on the site visitors but also in the city. The Third Partner must represent the essence of this unique city and nourish the traditional aesthetic of its people.
Venice is a beautiful, ancient, and intriguing city. It has a valuable history of progress, romanticism, struggles, art, and love. In each canale, in each palazzo, the action the work and passion of the human being is tangible. How would all this have been possible without a Third Partner?