As part of the Ai Weiwei exhibition in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, the Amnesty International mission statement “Amnesty shines a light into the darkness” was turned into a light sculpture. Beholders see this statement projected onto the middle of a white wall, complemented by a figurative mark of a candle. This candle, which is both the international symbol for hope and the logo of the human rights organisation, has an LED at its base so that it illuminates a template, which is attached to the wall, from below. As soon as the LED is activated by a visitor stepping up to the installation, an apparently realistic shadow of a scene in which human rights are violated is projected onto the wall – the change of the ambient light turns the previously neutral viewer instantly into a shocked eyewitness. The installation conveys the message that human rights are violated unnoticed and in secrecy until Amnesty International makes such incidents visible and brings them to the world’s attention, in a highly effective manner.
Statement by the jury
»The outstanding achievement of this installation is that it makes its mission statement unmistakably clear. In addition, it integrates viewers into the presentation by having them activate it unknowingly, turning them into both actors and witnesses. The light sculpture thus embodies a convincing and well-staged implementation of the message.«
Amnesty International, Sektion der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V., Berlin