Harmonizing differences

Terzo Paradiso/Rebirth Day performance

Terzo Paradiso - Ashram Joytinat 2016 - Ph Cristina Cardillo
Terzo Paradiso - Ashram Joytinat 2016 - Ph Cristina Cardillo
30 OCT 2016
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Terzo Paradiso/Rebirth Day performance at Ashram Joytinat in Corinaldo (Italy) is part of a worldwide series of events and exhibitions. One of the most articulate artistic oper-actions collectively created in recent years.

Thanks to the curatorship of Fulvio Chimento and Raffaele Quattrone Terzo Paradiso was hosted for the first time in an ashram (in Sanskrit it means "street of difficulties" but it can be translated also as "retreat"), a place that welcomes people from different social backgrounds regardless of gender, religion or nationality, and in which the cornerstone is Karma Yoga (where Karma means "action" and Yoga "union"). Ashram Joytinat is a Vedic community founded by the Indian Master Swami Joythimayananda, where daily activities are carried out with the mindset to offer Seva ("services") performing their work without expectations. These concepts born in Asia are really closed to the poetry of Michelangelo Pistoletto, which is focused on "demoprassia", that is "to practice real acts of creative civic engagement", and the holographic belief that "each mirror fragment is part of the Great mirror as it retains all the features and quality."

Terzo Paradiso has been hosted in various contexts as the Musée du Louvre in Paris (2013) and the Venice Biennale (2005), as well as public places of inestimable historic and artistic value such as the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (2015 and 2016), Piazza Duomo in Milan (2015) and the Central market in Florence (2015). But the project with which Terzo Paradiso in Ashram has an higher affinity, also because of the place spiritual value, is the San Francesco Forest in Assisi. Here, in 2010, the Italian artist inscribed the Terzo Paradiso symbol plowing the forest land and planting 150 olive trees that, growing up, have shaped a work still in progress. In the specific case of Ashram, the curators have decided to use only locally sourced materials, with a clear reference to the "poverty" and naturalness of the elements: bales of hay, wood and stones; in the center circle they chose to leave out the green of the garden full of herbs and wild flowers as a symbol of rebirth, and included in a large fire with a pyre of wood and white lime. On the occasion of the opening, Master Joythimayananda affirmed the urgent need for modern society to overcome the "selfishness" and the "dualisms." In this sense the two outer circles of Terzo Paradiso symbol represent two separate entities, "me" and "you", while the center circle highlights the tangible overcoming of this duality: "we", the seed of the new humanity based on harmonization of differences, be them political, religious or cultural. The real concept of Terzo Paradiso/Rebirth Day is to be a de-subjectived project because, despite being designed by an artist, it has become really a collective project.

Terzo Paradiso symbol at Ashram Joytinat has been created with hay bales in a cultivated field to evoke a concrete reference to the work, the commitment, the "doing." On September 4, 2016 at 18 it was lit at the center of the symbol a big fire, ritualizing in this way the switch from old to new, from what you want to release and what you want to achieve. After singing the AOM (the "primordial" sound of the Universe according to Vedic culture), more than one hundred people have been quietly doing three laps perimeter, holding hands. During the ceremony each participant has sprinkled the ground with earth mixed with ash in order to fertilize the fields as happened in Italian country tradition during summer months. A clear symbol of rebirth for a society that Michelangelo Pistoletto imagines based on values such as sharing, participation, cooperation, respect and sustainability. The performance, in this case, has also had a really strong spiritual component.

Note: The relationship between Pistoletto and religion is really closed. Do you remember at the end of the seventies the exhibition Division and multiplication of the mirror. Art Takes On Religion where Pistoletto announced two basic directions along which he will develop his work? At the first step, Division and multiplication of the mirror, Pistoletto arrived dividing the mirror into two and shifting the two sides to form an angle so that one part is able to reflect the other. So if the capitalist system first multiplies and then divides, first of all the new society has to divide (ie share) and then multiply what it shared. Sharing must be the logical alternative to the accumulation and exclusion, two typical characteristics of capitalism.