Liquid Souvenirs

2020

gallium
dimensions variable (aprox. 6cm height)

A replica of the Lion of Piraeus, a historic monument that was originally located in the port of Piraeus in Athens, later on taken by Morrosini, and was eventually relocated outside the Arsenale of Venice, a symbol of the power of Venice back then, which also happens to be a symbol of the Venice Biennial nowadays.
To my surprise, the first time I saw the Lion of Piraeus , was during my visit at the National Museum of History in Stockholm, Sweden. That museum is filled with exhibits related to the Viking history and as such, a replica of the Lion was found amongst them. The reason for that are the runes found on the side and shoulder of the lion, probably carved by a couple of Vikings as they were passing by Piraeus.

Monuments, just like the natural materials they are often made of such as stone, marble etc, move or get transported around the world and change their meaning depending on the context within which they are placed.

Souvenirs of such monuments are interesting as proof of the on site visit, but in this case the souvenir is as ephemeral as the memory it represents.
Gallium is the chosen material for such a representation, as it is a type of metal that possesses a melting point of 29,9 °C, making it possible for it to melt in the palm of ones hand.