Curated by: Hou Hanru, Monia Trombetta
"Ai born today" is the title of the ambitious public art intervention by Alberto Garutti which, after having been carried out since 1998 in various cities around the world (including Ghent, Istanbul and Moscow) is now in Rome, where it will be visible at public from 2 July until December 2019. The work, a celebration of life and the universal event of birth, foresees the intensification of the light of the street lamps in Piazza del Popolo every time, in the maternity ward of the Polyclinic University A. Gemelli IRCCS, a baby will be born. The project, curated by Hou Hanru and Monia Trombetta , is carried out by the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts in collaboration with the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital Foundation and promoted by Roma Capitale, with the support of Acea and Areti.
Through a button pressed in the ward on the occasion of each new birth, the system of street lamps gradually increases the luminous intensity of the square, and then returns after about thirty seconds to the constant average of illumination. A variation of light that suspends the ordinary flow of city life, to delicately pay homage to the uniqueness of each new birth. In the square and in correspondence with the main pedestrian accesses, iron plates are placed, an integral part of the work, to help passers-by to fully understand the operation and invite them to feel part of it. The plates bear this text: “The street lamps in Piazza del Popolo are connected with the maternity ward of the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic. Every time the light pulses it will mean that a baby has been born. This work is dedicated to him and to those born today in this city "" Rome is enriched with a precious and poetic artistic idea, a work dedicated to birth, to children, to the city, which speaks of hope and novelty and it does through the light - declares Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome -. This installation has a high symbolic value. An artistic value, but also a social one. We can enclose it in one word: sharing. Everyone will be able to share, welcome, celebrate one of the most beautiful and anticipated moments in one of the most loved and frequented squares by tourists and Romans. "" In a moment of fear, indifference and violence, this project by Alberto Garutti is a wonderful welcome to life , a gesture of welcome, an embrace to the precious existence of each one, of every human being without identification of nationality, ethnicity, religion. A hymn to the delicacy and sacredness of the human - says Giovanna Melandri, President of the MAXXI Foundation -. 'work of public art, the MAXXI once again comes out of the museum galleries to transform the streets and squares of Rome into places of meeting, sharing and comparison through the languages of contemporary art. "Every year over 4,000 births come to light Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic: more than 11 children a day. "With enthusiasm and conviction we combine the name of Gemelli with an international art project that celebrates life in the heart of in the city of Rome - explains Giovanni Raimondi, President of the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Polyclinic Foundation -. Initiatives like this humanize the life of the hospital and help make it a place closer to all citizens. The protection of unborn life is in the founding mission of Gemelli, ensuring all pregnant women and couples the best assistance in an extraordinary moment such as the birth of a child ”. "Ai born today is a work that relates to the city at different scales, which is visible and not visible: it produces a sort of narrative urban planning - says Alberto Garutti - When I think of this work, I always imagine a map of the physical city that pulsates and a map of the mental city that each passer-by produces. The image I am describing is basically a nativity, a classic theme of painting ... "To those born today, he establishes a direct dialogue with the city and its inhabitants, in an attempt to bring art closer to the reality of life: birth represents a message immediately perceptible by the whole community. The work is rooted in the city and calls the people who live there to it, arousing in them a sudden and sincere emotion through the use of light, an immediate and recognizable means of communication, but at the same time non-invasive.