The sculpture Collective Memory, by Koen Vanmechelen honours the importance of human rights at the heart of one of the most significant global institutions in education. The installation will be inaugurated during the opening of the 2017 Venice School of Human Rights and Democratisation and is part of ‘HumanRightStress’, a collaboration between fondazione Berengo and EIUC including artist Ai Weiwei, Vik Muniz and Koen Vanmechelen.
The sharp connection between human rights and art emphasised by the statue, acts as a visual marker about the paramount position of human rights within our contemporary society. As exclaimed by the artist, “Art is a Human Right”. Vanmechelen’s oeuvre acts as a guide through every stage of life; with the books supporting the child’s impending hopes and dreams. “Its final claim is that every new-born has the right to a life worth living with respect for human rights” states the artist.