Ten bronze monoliths — silent sentinels for freedom of speech — were unveiled on the waterfront Thursday in a special bi-national exhibition.
Each of the sculptures is 11 1/2 feet tall. Five face northwest, and five southwest.
“I decided to make them huge because the problem of freedom of expression is huge,” Rivelino said through a translator.
The artist said the exhibit is especially meaningful in the wake of the terrorist attack on a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“Each country suffers different levels of repression,” he explained. “If you moved it from San Diego and placed it in Tijuana, it would speak differently.”
He said the art symbolizes both public and private silence, and both can be harmful. “The greatest silence is intimate; it’s individual,” he said.
Accompanying the sculptures is a “Braille box” where the blind can experience the work by touching a scale model. Rivelino said this symbolized his concern that no one should be denied freedom of expression.
The sculptures were unveiled at a ceremony attended by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Port Chairman Dan Malcolm.