Un’offerta ai Monaci Birmani (An Offering to Burmese Monks)

2007 - Rome, Scala Santa (Holy Stairs)

Materials: fabric, roses, incense e myrrh.

Dimensions: m 31 x 0,6.

Solidarity for the “purple revolution” of Burmese monks: an appeal to support their non-violent protest in defence of freedom.

An example of peace, celebrated by Maria Dompè in one of the “temples” of Christianity. With the support of the Passionist Fathers of the Holy Stairs and with the cultural association “TRAleVOLTE”, the artist placed her offering on the steps of the Holy Stairs: roses, fabric, perfume essence. To reinforce the message, the profound spirituality of the place.

The Stairs, moved from Jerusalem at the request of Helen (mother of Constantine) and placed in the Lateran Palace since 326, is the emblem of the Passion. On Holy Friday, Christ shed his blood on the Stairs and traces of his blood should be still visible. After centuries, the ceremony is repeated. As an act of devotion, the faithful climb on their knees the 28 steps, in order to reach the “Sancta Santorum”.

Beyond the limits of parochialism, Maria Dompè emphasizes the universal meaning of sacrifice, as a gesture of salvation. In this way the monks become new saviours at the service of human welfare, who are crushed by dictatorship: not only the military dictatorship that holds Burma in hostage, but for all the manifestations of violence, public or private, that have bloodied the world. In contrast to the shocking image of guns pointed at the dissidents, Maria Dompè responds with flowers: an invitation to be reborn in purity, renouncing all forms of hostilities.

The aesthetic impact of the work is entrusted, as always, to its suggestiveness. Incense and myrrh evoke the epiphany-like discovery of the path to follow to re-find harmony: with oneself and the world. “As history teaches us,” recalls Maria Dompè, “the monks with their spiritual strength, non-violence and love have always demonstrated for freedom and universal peace”.

Maria Egizia Fiaschetti