Anything Helps is a monument of guilt, a monument of class-differences.
An artist from an affluent country has spend tens of thousands of euros to fly around the world and live in hotels to buy begging signs from street-dwellers with few euros.
Anything Helps consists of 22 begging signs from 10 different countries the artist Jani Leinonen has been buying from beggars around the world during 6 years. The signs have been framed in thick golden frames under a glass. A copper plate on the glass lets the viewer know what city the sign is bought from from. Paris, New York, London, Milan, Ljubljana, Moscow, Houston, etc.
The 22 piece installation will be presented in Venice Biennale, the Danish Pavilion, for the first time. 10 of the 22 signs are collected in May from Italy where the artist spend 3 weeks searching for the beggars. It became a difficult task because of the current situation in Italy. Many of beggars originating from Romania have gone underground because Italian police has bulldozed camps where Romanians lived, Berlusconi has rushed through new laws against illegal immigrants, and deployed soldiers in big cities to fight crime and ordered a census of around 150,000 Roma people or gypsies. In February 18, Berlusconi passed an emergency decree legalising citizen patrols.
The name of the installation comes from the first signs the artist bought in 2003 from Houston, Texas.
The incomes from selling the installation and all the donations will be spend on raising the awareness of globally rising class-differences and poverty through thought-provoking actions. The ways of spending the money will be announced on this website.
Contact Jani Leinonen: