Bologna Shoah Memorial
Pouring a gray coating (the micro-concrete), is the first remedy aimed at filling the gaps between the slabs that cover the square, the stair and the wall. It is a deletion. It is the annulment of the perception of shapes that stand on the site of the Memorial. It is a blanket of ash, sooty material as a result of burning, as an element that absorbs lines, planes and volumes. A uniformity that deletes it all, as a short circuit between shapes and backgrounds. The pouring is also the ash that aims at cleaning to create some room for memory. In order to remember, one must take away. Absence is a way to emphasize a presence.
The piling of objects belonged to the bodies of the Jews entails a figurative imprinting of the memory of the Shoah. Someone wanted and achieved the cancellation of individualities, even before that of human dignity. Erasing the sense of being part of a community. The privation of objects that allow simple actions that fill our daily lives was the strategy of the annulment. Removing a population.
The piles print in our minds that specific goal.
The pile of stones, gravel or sand are the reminding of the accumulation of those objects. Hair cut and sold to manufacture ropes. Suitcases with stamped names and addresses that confirm the illusion, a reckless one, that some day they would have been delivered back to their once owners.
Where a pile is made of soil, it is the result of the digging of the land filled with the bodies . It is a pile of bodies, trampled, bitten, cracked ones. That pile is that of what remains of Zyclon B containers used inside of the gas chambers in the form of grainy substance.
The grain of the texture of the 7 piles, is the abstraction of the appearance of the combs, brushes, shaving brushes, eyeglasses, shoes, dentures, wedding rings, prostheses. A succession of lacks. A multitude of pieces that represent the will to feel the lack of the Jews, and all those unaligned who disappeared during the Holocaust.
The material through this thought is transposed in a material form is not smooth, shiny and regular. It can not be. It is necessary that it becomes rough and irregular, because what remains after millions of lack is the stain of human misery. But our nature is also able to bring the light of reason and hope. Will be the light that escapes from irregular voids between the rocks, that make up piles, to fill such lacks.
May this torment become stones, gravel, sand, soil. May it leave the cries, and may it suggest the delicate mountains that inhanimate an imaginary karesansui (Japanese dry garden). So to deliver a place where to meditate. Where there is calm, memory and rest.