On the first night Italian artist Giancarlo Neri lit up his installation of 9,000 multi-coloured lights in Circus Maximus in Rome, it attracted 35,000 people like cultured moths to a flame. That was in 2007, and repeat events in Madrid and Dubai have each enthralled those cities, while the same ingenious yet simple idea has had a totally different effect in every location. The differently-coloured lamps start to flash once night falls, and as they get faster the colours meld into a multi-coloured haze. For its latest outing it comes to the Praça Paris in Glória as part of a joint project between the Italian Embassy, Oi Futuro art gallery and the Instituto Italiano di Cultura.
And the idea? Well, it was inspired by a time when the artist's wife bought a faulty lamp from Ikea; instead of clear bulbs inside it had lots of tiny differently-coloured lamps, which all lit up alternately. "Nothing is computerised and I use materials which are cheap and easy to get hold of, even kitsch," says Neri. He wants his art to be free, public and accessible to all, and it will be seen in all its finery by anyone travelling past Gloria towards Centro along Avenida Beira Mar until 4 February.