The Mandala Project is an ongoing series of interactive art performances and installations that activate public spaces around the world. The Mandala Project Venice is being held this September during the 57th Venice Biennale as part of this international project series. In response to the current refugee crisis affecting so many, this collective art project will connect people with each other, getting them involved in a participatory public art project. It aims to bring awareness and understanding of a global issue and creates a dialog about human rights.
During the installation, the actual project is created on-site through my daily live body casting sessions of the arms of visitors and bystanders. These arms will then be attached vertically onto a beached “broken“ boat located in a public space. These outstretched arms are both a metaphor for hope, and a symbol for freedom and safety for those fleeing regimes of terror, injustice and wars.
This project is based on both Eastern and Western concepts of the Mandala, representing the hidden order of the universe. Once the boat is filled with reaching arms, the installation is designed to dissolve, as participants and spectators claim and remove pieces of themselves from the boat. The installation is a collective creation in physical form while also expressing the unstable zeitgeist of rapid cultural shifts. The art piece is complete once it is gone, as in the ephemeral nature of the Buddhist mandala.
Filmmaker, Producer, Director Johnny Cubert White will be hands on at every move filming during the entire duration of our stay: the transportation of the boat to the church site and back – the “disappearance” of the art piece, and all interviews of bystanders, visitors and refugees, immigrants as well as representatives of several organizations in Italy for a full documentary of this particular performance piece.
“This project to me is about: Freedom, Democracy, Hope. In all global chaos, we make art responsibly. We encourage. empower, commemorate, celebrate, remember, heal, support, embrace and unite. In all colors, cultures, and traditions, we embrace communities, touch lives, impact environments. Together we collectively create our future. One individual, one community at a time, globally. We ARE humanity.”
Lilli Muller, artist
Lilli Muller is a German-born multi-media artist, sculptor, and community activist currently living and working in Los Angeles, California. Her interdisciplinary art practice has always existed at the intersection of public and private ritual, symbolic narrative and direct action. The international locations for which this historically site-responsive Mandala Projects can be adapted range from the Berlin Wall to Ground Zero, New Orleans, and anywhere in the world that a community could benefit from an art-based healing ritual.
A multi-award winning internationally collected artist, she was honored by the City of Los Angeles and Art Share LA with the Arts Incubator Humanitarian Award for her contribution in the arts community and many years of arts advocacy.