Since we are all living in a time tormented by fanaticisms and by religious extremisms that provoke massacres and persecutions; the need to contrast barriers and obstacles with a message that is able to unite all cultures, people and religions is emerging.
Certainly, the domes that represent different cultures and the search of the sacred can transmit a universal message and approach languages, experiences and shared understanding.
This is what I am trying to do with my latest art works. Whenever art can arouse significant aesthetic emotions, it represents a universal language. Moreover, if the universal language has a universal theme (as, in this case, the domes) there is a bigger possibility that the resulting message will be shared and understandable in different continents. This can be a powerful way for cultural mediation besides being an authentic art witness that feeds and educates the soul and calms down anxieties.
Helping the spread of this artistic message seems to be a cultural occasion that would bring big opportunities in areas and cultures that are far away from each other but close thanks to the common symbols of the sacred. The sacred is the history of humanity and even a layman can not ignore the symbolic presence that the strong and unifying dome had since centuries; many people used it to represent a place of protection, to symbolize perfection, to search the beauty and to satisfy the need of the soul.

Nowadays, the search of the “sacred” could simply mean to look at the stars and sensing our own limitations while facing the mystery that totally transcends our pride and arrogance.
As the Swiss analyst psychologist Carl Gustav Jung said, if one component of our psychic dynamic is removed, it does not disappear, but instead it acts strongly from the dark side where it has been placed. It shows its presence by disturbing the conscience that tries to ignore it and by sending signals that could lead to problems and ideational, perceptive and emotive changes.
Erasing the dimension of the “sacred” is probably at the base of certain problems of our time; like, for instance, the use of drugs, unjustified violence, sexuality without emotion, injustices, abuse of power, the spasmodic search for money and the need to show off. The are all substitutes to the mystery and the sacred that instead would both lead us to be not omnipotent and therefore neither arrogant nor desperate.

The believers of the “sacred” that denounced materialism belong to different and geographically separated cultures which are linked by their need to listen to the values that are neither numerical nor rational. Materialism is also a problem that is linked to the worse aspects of commercial globalization.
The creation of bazaar and manipulative cults witnesses a confused sacredness which is influenced by the powerful mass media. The mass media make use of a powerful technology which auto celebrates itself as the new God; the result is an evident flatness at any level.
In my paintings, the theme of the “sacred” is a strongly emerging theme; this means that an artistic expression through its own images may suggest the need of the contemporary man to regain the essential dimension of his psychic and spiritual life.
This is done through the use of a message that does not belong to a unique culture or religion but instead it can and would unite all people with a message of non alienation and through a symbolism (the dome) understandable to anyone.

The following series of paintings, mostly of small dimensions (24×24) continues the theme of the domes and introduces a reflection on the presence-absence of sacred in modern times, in religions, in the thought, and in the life of people.
I believe it is important to clarify that when I mention the sacred, I do not mean to refer it to ethical need and prescribed behaviours. In fact, this belongs to other instances, not to this one which is based on aesthetics. However, it also recalls, in a way, the inner side of the man because also in this area it cannot be ignored the first and last sense of life in all its demonstrations and expressive forms.
Therefore, aesthetics is able to create questions on the essence of the man (this is the case in many of my recent art works) and this sets aside ascetic convictions of every individual.
This is also because a certain type of edonè does not contradict the deep sacred and the mystery of life and universe.
In the past century, the philosopher Nietsche has proven the death of God and the tragedy of this event that goes from reason to emotion.
The sense of sacred accompanied the history of man throughout centuries but it is now declining. That unachievable and not even mentioned mystery left place to fake all-encompassing rationality, even within religious rituals that we are familiar with.
As Umberto Galimberti writes in Le ombre del sacro (page 58) the sacred is substituted from religious words that are embedded in values and that only aim at indicating how to act.
Religions only seem interested in ethics; therefore, the essence of the man is impoverished when he tries to give a sense to pain, to educate to love and to prepare himself to death. However, this forgets what Rilke says:”pain is ignored, love cannot be learned, whatever calls us to death still remains obscure. Only what happens on earth is consecrated and celebrated”.
Even the lay and rational Galimberti feels that the deep mystery that tied the man to life has been lost.
Therefore, this series of domes that are tormented in the trait, in their composition, and that are tear and uncertain, still maintain gold traits-parts which are the symbol of a precious presence of the sacred.
Moreover, this series recalls a feeling of turmoil and loss of the mystery that religions should preserve but that instead they are not able to witness anymore.
There isn’t any reference to a specific religion: the witness of the mystery is gone and these domes recall the dramatic shift and they probably witness the nostalgia of the symbol, which constitutes the founding substrate of the most articulated and accomplished thought of the man and his feeling of admiration and fear towards anything that transcends it.

Comment by Roberto Perotti
(traduzione di Alessandra Di Falco)


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