A lighthouse for Lampedusa @ Villa Romana Florence

April 15 – May 15, 2009

Thomas Kilpper
A Lighthouse for Lampedusa!

Model at Villa Romana, Florence, 2009

We cordially invite you and your friends to the opening
of the exhibition on Wednesday 15th April at 7 p.m.

Opening Times: Tues – Fri 3 – 7 p.m. and by appointment

Villa Romana / Via Senese 68 / 50124 Florenz / Italie

Last autumn the artist Thomas Klipper, who lives and works in Berlin, set up the project  A Lighthouse for Lampedusa!

Every year approximately 20,000 people, most of whom are immigrants from Africa, try to reach Europe via the island of Lampedusa. According to the Italian Home Office, in 2008 this number reached as much as 35,000 people. Thousands die at sea: humanitarian organisations have estimated that nearly a tenth of the total number of migrants die during the dangerous crossing. Thomas Klipper plans to create a major lighthouse and arts centre, in collaboration with architects, engineers and island residents.

A lighthouse equipped with a powerful beam could provide important support to those navigating at sea and reduce the danger of shipwreck. The light would also convey an important message to migrants: “We’re here, we aren’t hiding”. For those living in Lampedusa the lighthouse could become a meeting place, exhibition space and a venue for conferences, concerts and other cultural events.

The building of the lighthouse will now be possible thanks to wide local and International support. Over the winter an initial model was presented at the “dispari&dispari project” exhibition space in Reggio Emilia. In Florence Thomas Klipper has designed a model to be set within the urban context of Piazza San Pancrazio, right next to the Museo Marino Marini.

Other works by Thomas Klipper will be presented at Villa Romana, among which two documentary videos and some large scale xylographs from London and Frankfurt.

Thomas Kilpper, class of 1956, is renown for his works that intervene with artistic readings of specific social and political contexts. His work has been shown in prestigious spaces such as the South London Gallery, the Generali Foundation in Vienna, the Schirn Kunsthalle, the Kunstverein in Frankfurt and the Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe. He is currently preparing an engraving on linoleum, in collaboration with Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, measuring 800 square metres and intended for the floor of the ex Ministry of State Security building (the Stasi) in East Germany.

Un Faro per Lampedusa! [pdf]
Ein Leuchtturm fuer Lampedusa! [pdf]