Dalhousie Square

2005 - Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bag, Kolkata, India

Materials: textiles cotton,
thermocole, incense, bamboo
Performance: indian music,
indian dancing, indian singing.

Dimensions: m 130 x 90.

In collaboration of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dalhousie Square, the heart of Calcutta, is one of the villages from which the city was born. A colonial period jewel, it appears on the list of the World Monuments Fund as one of the hundred places to conserve: a metaphor of the contrast between a millenary history and the present.

As always, Maria Dompè intervenes in a zone “at risk”, amplifying the message tinged in the very nature of the place. In the water of the great tank, created for recreation and socialization, the artist sees the key to her poetics: an image as clear as it is difficult to create. Seen from above, it is a floating triangle, modulated by diverse tones of red, like a film sensible to the reflections from light and from the atmosphere. Seen up close, it is a skilful weave of textiles, thread and floating material: many pieces linked to each other and transported from one end to the other with the help of the people.

“Red in its natural shades is the colour of India: from religion depiction to daily life, it represents the hidden energy of a people. A powerful force that is never ostentatiously declared but modestly unexpressed.” (Maria Dompè). Therefore, a work that impacts not only in the imagination but also in the life of the inhabitants of Calcutta: from the women involved in the sewing of the materials to those who collaborated on the staging. In this way, people remember their past: the three Bengalese martyrs - Binoy, Badel and Dinesh - killed for liberty from colonialism, to which the piazza is dedicated; “… in the idea continuum of a triangle that floats in the historical centre of Kolkata; a emblematic tripartition dedicated to the three heroes, but essentially an appeal to the roots and primordial energy…” (M.D.).

An image of strong visual impact but above all meditative, dedicated to the people in order to recover their historical memory and ancient spirituality: the only way to safeguard national identity: India is a country that has much to teach by its dignity and its ancient energy, in a wheel of time that does not exist.” (M.D.)

The material used for the installation has been donated to the religious order ‘Missionaries Of Charity’, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Maria Egizia Fiaschetti