Accustomed to colossal creations, land artist pioneer Saype recently stopped by Geneva to pursue his goal of creating the largest human chain in the world, emphasising his commitment to several non-for-profits.
“I often laugh about it with my team, because the truth is I embarked on a project that is certainly one of the most ambitious ever conceived, without really thinking about all the implications."
The project, entitled “Beyond Walls”, started in Paris in June 2019 in support with SOS Mediterranean and moved to Andorra before recently arriving in Geneva. Before long, it will be making its way to Berlin.
"To get this project traveling, it's a lot of getting in touch with politicians, administrations and such. I usually contact them directly, or through my network. I choose cities that make sense in different ways, either with an outlook on the past, or because I want to talk about cities and countries that are not talked about enough, or at least rarely."
The goal is to spread this art to over twenty countries in the next three to five years. Saype and his team seek to display their work in cities as well as countrysides to reach as many people as possible. The artworks stem from photographs of forearms and hands intertwined, a reference to the first gesture made by rescuers at sea, when assisting a refugee onboard.
Faithful to what he has been promoting for years, Saype continues to add a social dimension to his work; he associated his art piece in Paris with the values of SOS Méditerranée, who has saved over 29,000 lives in the Mediterranean sea since 2015, and will highlight other non-profits in some of his upcoming stops. Commenting on his own commitment, Saype explains:
"I personally like art that has a place in intellectual debates, and that changes the shape of reality. In land art, that's what I'm trying to do. I believe that this project is about something much more universal than migration. It's an opportunity to encompass everything that matters in my opinion, such as ecology, economics, etc ... "
Today, Saype continues to work in land art as well as in the studio, switching between an open and involved approach, and a more introspective, personal work. His team is preparing the fourth stage of the Beyond Walls project in Berlin, due on the thirty-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
An apt quest for what gives Saype hope.
"Life. I am in love with life."