27 January

2002 - Rome, Synagogue

Materials: nylon netting, white roses,
sandalwood incense..

Dimensions: m 12 x 15 x h 3,5.

After a year Maria Dompè renews her participation in the anniversary, January 27th, of the liberation of Auschwitz. This date is a symbol of civil conscience: open wounds and, at the same time, a glimmer of light. The 27th of January has been chosen as Holocaust Memorial Day, a date with history, but also a moment of reflection in order to not forget the Shoah.

The Synagogue of Rome, on the occasion of this anniversary, hosted a manifestation entitled: “Terror is our common enemy”, in order to underline the contemporary nature of an emotion like fear that rebounds from one continent to another after the disaster of 11 September. The Synagogue, with its intrinsic cultural and commemorative function, became the privileged environment for the collective participation in the ritual of memory, involving all of the citizens. Art, as a universal language, is a vehicle of emotion, memory, influences.

In the dark, the chorus of the main altar of the synagogue gave a performance rich with pathos, the music and the subject joined harmoniously with the work of Maria Dompè. The artist unfolded on the gate of the Temple a transparent nylon net that, similar to an impalpable airline curtain that invades the access path to the staircase, stopping near the threshold. The net seems to allude to the subtle weaving of memories, but also to entrapment in the sticky tentacles of terror. Perfume, which has always characterised the work of Maria Dompè, intimately involves the perception and evokes the spell of lost sensations.

The three thousand white roses deposited on the nearly liquid and immaterial supporting surface resemble a forest of cut souls, and yet intact in their honesty, in the purity of their unadorned stars. Thrown about by the fluctuating whirling flow of existence, they seem to remain unharmed; on the contrary, memory links them indissolubly to the cycle of eternal return. The reflective fibre of the nylon creates a liquid atmosphere, wet, similar to a purifying rain that has come to wash the wounds of humanity, and to put out the fires of hate. The roses, for their part, invite us to hope for a new flowering after the desert of the holocaust.

Maria Egizia Fiaschetti