What memories lie in our bodies? How to uncover the unconscious, subjective and collective memory? An equation already used in the realization of other artworks allows the artist to unite childhood memory and personal ontology. The bronze sculpture that replicates the perimeter of an open square is filled with soil (with a volume equal to that of the body of the artist) taken from the garden of the maternal grandfather. The temporal interferences between his own childhood and the acquired identity in the form of artist redesign the relation with time, moving interior space and matter. The imperfect square is an anthropomorphic impossibility to fully understand reality, yet at the same time it is the intuition of being a part of all, the volume of the body is the golden ratio to access the cosmos, the soil is vital matter, a semiotic exploration of the artistic and personal identity. The memories choose an incomplete geometric form.
In the vajrayāna tradition, maṇḍala is the symbol which declines the human microcosm and the universal macrocosm, the geometric projection of a square within numerous circles metaphors of the spiritual journey towards becoming a Buddha. The most external circle is made of fire to keep profanes away, then the adamantine strikes of the vajra block the access to who still hasn’t purified their will and finally the circle of lotus flowers, padmavali, the emotional pureness. After having overcome the three barriers it is possible to enter in the maṇḍala, at the center of which is thekūṭāgāra sanctuary, where the main divinity is found. The parts of the maṇḍala have different meanings: the four sides are the four noble truths, the petals are the cakra, the four doors oriented towards different human and phenomenal experiences, the four arches of meditation, the four frames of knowledge, the precious gems are for the fulfillment of desires, the garlands are the passing of obstacles. The creation of a maṇḍala includes painting, sculpting, flowers, rice, gems, stones, colored sands and it makes the gift from a master to a disciple, an initiation rite to access archetypical knowledges. Its construction is connected to the stūpa, the psico-architecture of funerary origin which represents the three-dimensional version of the maṇḍala.
Massimiliano A. Polichetti, “L’apoteosi degli psiconauti.La contemplazione del maṇḍala come pellegrinaggio sostitutivo nel buddhismo vajrayāna indo-tibetano”, in Barbero A., Piano S. (edd.), La bisaccia del pellegrino: fra evocazione e memoria. Il pellegrinaggio sostitutivo ai luoghi santi nel mondo antico e nelle grandi religioni viventi, Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Torino, Moncalvo, Casale Monferrato 2-6 ottobre 2007, Savigliano 2010