On the Grand Caal in Venice people can observe now a creation of the artist James Lee Byars called the Golden Tower. The artist views his creation as a lighthouse that connects heaven and earth, and people. It also is an allusion to the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The artist got the idea of this unusual tower in 1974, but the idea was going through changes. Firstly, the artwork was presented in 1990 at Gegenwart Ewigkeit exhibition in Berlin and in 2004 it was exhibited after the author’s death in Frankfurt at Live, Love and Death exhibition.
The Golden Tower in Venice is the first installation demonstrated in a public place which fully accomplishes intentions of the author. The Golden Tower can be seen from different areas of the city and its golden surface corresponds to the mosaic façade of Palazzo Barbarigo nearby. The installation is situated between the Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
James Lee Byars lived in Venice for some time at 1980s. Here he completed his famous sculpture The Angel. He was lots of times in Italy with a variety of performances including The Holy Ghost, Piazza San Marco,; The New Pink Flag of Italy, Piazza San Marco, etc. Byars also took part in four Venice Biennales.
The artist’s widow claimed that this tower was created as a monument to humanity. James Lee perceived Venice as a place where East and West are meeting.