Rome Makes an Appeal to the World with Installation 'HELP the Ocean'

Running through July 29, 2018, Maria Cristina Finucci's light installation "HELP the Ocean," on the ruins of the Basilica Julia in the Roman Forum, sounds the alarm about the state of our planet to millions of tourists and Roman residents. Maria Cristina Finucci is a PPC Ambassador and Supporting Artist Ally.

The installation is part of a cycle that the artist started in 2013 with the foundation of the new federal Garbage Patch State, the second largest state in the world thanks to its 16-million-km² area, and composed of the five main plastic "islands" present in the oceans.

Co-promoted by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and with the support of the Bracco
Foundation, Maria Cristina Finucci created the installation "HELP the Ocean" in one of the most symbolic and sacred locations of Ancient Rome, and one of the most visited sites on Earth.

The work is an ensemble of large metal wire cages, provided by the Maccaferri Group, and
embroidered with 6 million coloured plastic caps to simulate an archaeological finding which could, one day, become emblematic of our time, renamed "the plastic era."

This enigmatic structure evokes the architectural syntax of Ancient Rome, but using plastic instead of stone. Only from above, however, can one see that this peculiar construction forms the four letters of the word HELP, as if to convey the call of our entire historical time, finally aware of being on the way to self-destruction.

By night, the monumental inscription, as if made of huge lanterns, is illuminated – thanks to ENEL X – and can be seen also from via dei Fori Imperiali.

Maria Cristina Finucci calls HELP "a call for help that is not limited to the environmental question, however essential: it also focuses on the individual and on all the life forms of a planet whose environment is inextricably linked to natural resources, health, nutrition, poverty, inequalities, human rights and peace."

Finucci says installation confirms the urgent and inescapable need to work together to achieve the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which the Garbage Patch State officially signed on in April 2017.

With the creation of the Garbage Patch State in 2013, using the transversal language of art, Maria Cristina Finucci gave a concrete image to the environmental disaster caused by the plastic and microplastic waste adrift in the oceans and which, reduced to microscopic dimension, is de facto invisible and therefore difficult to communicate.

"HELP the Ocean" is supported by the Bracco Foundation, Gruppo Maccaferri, Enel, Roma Tre University, IED, Caritas Roma, and AMUSE.

Take the pledge to refuse single-use plastic.

Join our global Coalition.