Aung San Suu Kyi

2007 - Rome, Archivio Crispolti, “Vetrina Ripetta 131”

Materials: fabric, roses, perfume essence.

Dimensions: window m 2 x 2 x h 0,5.

Icon of democracy and peaceful protest. Aung Sang Suu Kyi, held for twelve years as a hostage by the Burmese military, survives like a flower in a winter frost: crushed by violence, but uplifted by the power of ideas. Impalpable, sustained by granite will. A radiant 62-year old, who from isolation draws the strength to continue her battle.

By the language of flowers, calm but intense as her personality, Maria Dompè dedicates a portrait created for “Vetrina Ripetta 131″. Eight pure white roses, wrapped in coloured fabric, are visible from the street. A sobering signal, which makes us think about her situation: splendid prisoner, like the stems hidden by the coloured bandage. But here is where the artist intervenes to liberate them, carefully changing them every day. Freshness intact, capable of challenging time and indifference.

Due to the ritual nature of the work, Maria Dompè calls for a participatory art, not only on the visual level. Searching for empathy and finding it in the disarming simplicity of nature. Small signs, which pierce our gaze. The suggestiveness created by the organza veil which fills the small space of the window is irresistible. It’s a cloud, as light as the soul of Aung San Suu Kyi: the same which allows her to liberate the spirit of oppression.

The eight flowers, not by coincidence, represent the “Eightfold path, step by step” of Buddha: a rigorous training that leads from wisdom to meditation. A path that leads to liberty, an example for all of us: the first step towards building peace, in fact, is to find it within ourselves. In poetry and in music, the Burmese heroine has found the right key. By analogy, Maria Dompè creates a corner where we can be reconciled to the most pure sensations, inspired by the pure white roses and by the fragrance of their perfume.

Maria Egizia Fiaschetti