Cultuur Gent

The cultural service of the city of Ghent
Ai Nati Oggi ©Michiel Devijver

Ai Nati Oggi

If you walk across Sint-Veerleplein square, you may not notice there is a work of art on the edge of the square. It is hidden in two streetlamps connected to the city’s maternity hospitals. The lights slowly flash on and off every time a baby is born.

A button installed in the delivery rooms of the Sint-Lucas, Jan Palfijn, Maria Middelares and UZ hospitals is connected to the streetlamps on Sint-Veerleplein square. The signals from the hospitals are transferred to the streetlights by means of a control cabinet.

The work is titled ‘Ai Nati Oggi’ (To those who are born today) and was conceived by Italian artist Alberto Garutti. The artwork was previously displayed on Vrijdagmarkt square during the open-air exhibition ‘Over The Edges’ in 2000. The city purchased the work, then still called ‘Untitled’, and it has been permanently exhibited on Sint-Veerleplein square since 2011. The Ghentians are actively and directly part of the installation, which has been fully integrated into the city and its inhabitants. For this reason, Alberto Garutti won the ‘City of Ghent Culture Award’ in 2009. In this work, the jury recognised a great artist who profoundly understands public space and attaches great importance to public support.