Spaces, images and voices that talk about our identity: 'About us. Tracey Snelling for The Human Safety Net' at the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice

12 April 2024 - 17:00
  • From 13 April 2024 to 28 April 2025, the original art project complementing 'A World of Potential'
  •  An investigation of the human condition through living spaces seen as an expression of a person's identity within the community

Venice - The spaces we live in talk about us, our stories, our experiences and our being part of a community. This is the thought behind 'About Us', the art project created by Tracey Snelling for The Home of The Human Safety Net, which complements the interactive exhibition 'A World of Potential' at the Procuratie Vecchie in Saint Mark square. It will be on display for visitors from next 13 April until 28 April 2025.

‘About Us. Tracey Snelling for The Human Safety Net’ was opened today with the Chairman of The Human Safety Net, Gabriele Galateri di Genola, the Vice Chairman of The Human Safety Net and Generali's Group Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer, Simone Bemporad, together with artist Tracey Snelling and curator Luca Massimo Barbero, who is proposing his second artistic project for the Art Studio, the space where art dialogues with social themes.

About Us takes the visitor through a surprising city teeming with life, where inhabited spaces contain stories, images and voices. A vibrant microcosm to explore, made up of people within their communities, which speaks of our strengths and how we can grow and make an impact. 

The artworks created by Tracey Snelling offer new suggestions to the permanent exhibition A World of Potential, an interactive experience to explore and connect with our own potential, discovering the best qualities of ourselves and others, also through the stories of the beneficiaries, professionals and volunteers of The Human Safety Net. 

The artworks represent urban conglomerates, made with craft materials and techniques and simple technological insertions, such as photos, sounds and lights. Through them, Tracey Snelling addresses some of the major themes at the heart of The Human Safety Net's mission, first and foremost the right of everyone to be able to improve their living conditions and those of their families and communities, even from a condition of vulnerability.

Through articulated, small-scale sculptures, the artist captures the essence of everyday life, from the most banal moments to the most intimate narratives behind closed windows, recreating environments and buildings inspired by places she has actually visited and investigated during her travels around the world. The observer is thus stimulated to confront the challenges of society and, through sociological observations, to discover different cultures and experiences that unite human beings even behind apparent disparities. The encounter with ‘A World of Potential’ invites to an experience of ‘coexistence’ through collective and tangible action in reality.

The Chairman of The Human Safety Net Foundation, Gabriele Galateri di Genola, stated: "Art has the unique ability to communicate profound messages and to arouse emotions that can lead to reflection and action. Starting from a tangible condition of our existence, living in urban spaces, an expression of everyone's identity, Tracey Snelling tackles themes such as poverty and the involvement of the individual and the community, inclusiveness, the stranger, highlighting different cultures and experiences that unite us under apparent disparities. A powerful visual and emotional stimulus shared by The Human Safety Net and its mission: to be able to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people and those of their families and communities. The ambition is to become more and more a space open to discussion on major contemporary issues, to understand and connect with our own potential and make a positive impact on society.”

Artist Tracey Snelling said: “The mission of The Human Safety Net Foundation to transform the lives of people living in vulnerable conditions aligns with the ideals I have explored throughout my artistic career. By tackling issues related to globalisation, poverty, the 'About Us' project fully shares the values of the Foundation: it is a way to raise awareness on pressing issues, seeking solutions to improve the state of the most vulnerable people. My aspiration is to arouse a feeling of sharing among viewers, fostering empathy and solidarity. I aim to stimulate a spirit of altruism, even if only partially, so that individuals recognise their ability to make a positive impact within the global community.”

The curator, Luca Massimo Barbero, said: "The presence of the sculptural works created by Tracey Snelling for the Art Studio is a unique and significant opportunity to present to the public her work of continuous research into places, the people who inhabit them and their experiences, an ideal and conceptual connection with the mission of The Human Safety Net. Through her travels, the artist has in fact been able to examine different aspects of the human condition in the context of housing quality and the consequences that poverty has on the individual, the community and society. Her works represent the idealization of and relationship with architecture understood as housing, as sharing the city environment, as the place of the individual's essential needs. This is what happens inside the Procuratie Vecchie, at The Home of The Human Safety Net, where the visitors, in their plurality of presence, confront themselves inside the architecture with the content of the human being, its vicissitudes, the idea of how humanity lives in a different way, giving voice to the foreigner, the refugee, the migrant. As the images flow, an interactive narrative of great confrontation is thus created, offering a journey through the plurality and multiplicity of the human, discovering the uniqueness and potential of the individual, a true process of which the exhibition ‘A World of Potential’ is only the beginning.”

A World of Potential is an expression of The Human Safety Net's programmes for vulnerable families with children 0-6 and for refugees, developed with the aim of unlocking the potential of those living in vulnerable conditions through a network of people helping people, united by the belief that no one should be left behind.

A unique experience in Venice that, through the lens and language of art, is meant to remind the importance of the right that everyone has to express their potential also, as in this case, through the artistic process. An opportunity to discover the Procuratie Vecchie, a building of exceptional historical and monumental importance, restored thanks to a respectful and innovative project signed by David Chipperfield, winner of the Pritzker Prize 2023.

An iconic space that, since its opening two years ago, has been visited by over 110,000 people and hosted over 300 events, thus supporting the activities of The Human Safety Net: half of the ticket price, in fact, supports the Foundation's programmes.


Tracey Snelling was born in Oakland, USA, lives and works in Berlin. Through sculpture, installations, photography and video, she conveys her perception of a place, the people who inhabit it and their experience. Snelling's work stems from sociological themes, voyeurism and urban architecture. Her works represent places and people at specific moments in history. Snelling has exhibited in international institutions, including the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Belgium; Palazzo Reale, Milan; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; and the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany. She was awarded the Stiftung Kunstfonds grant for 2022, Germany, the Pollack Krasner grant for 2023 and finally the Gottlieb Foundation grant.  Snelling exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2019 commissioned by Swatch, then at the Havana Biennale 2019 and at the University of Venice during the Architecture Biennale 2021. In 2022, he carried out a large-scale community project with the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, in which she addressed issues of housing safety and adequacy. In 2023, Snelling held a solo exhibition at Tokyo Arts and Space in Tokyo and is currently exhibiting one of his installations at the Achille Forti Gallery of Modern Art in Verona.

From 1 April, the Home of The Human Safety Net is open every day except Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On 13 and 14 April, admission is free with a voluntary donation.

On Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, admission is free with a voluntary donation for residents of Venice and the Metropolitan City, students of the city's universities up to the age of 26 with a valid student card, and holders of Carta Venezia Unica. On the last Sunday of the month admission is free for all with a voluntary donation. The terraces are open on Sundays. For school and university groups admission is always free. For reservations: visit

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