At every step a Minotaur

by Viola Di Massimo

Technical specifications:

Classic labyrinth, 515 stones;

Dimensions: m 7.90 per 6.90, entrance at west, realized on 18 till 21 March 2015, during the sun eclipse and the spring equinox;

Pathway: about 140 m going and return. At the entrance 2 small menhirs with an inscription made by an unknown alphabet;

Title: at every step a Minotaur;

Place: Sorti, Pieve Torina (MC) – Italy;

Author: Viola Di Massimo;

Builders: Andrea Amato, Viola Di Massimo.

For this work Viola Di Massimo realizes a seven circuits labyrinth: something very old found in civilizations so distant each other that it's difficult to understand how had been possible creating a similar shape in places so spatial and chronological distant.

The artist reads. and is impressed by, "I misteri della Cattedrale di Chartres" by Louis Charpentier that concerns with the cathedral labyrinth.

A way written on the soil … and may be a slow evolution of the man that comes along it.

And yet ...

Gitanos dance barefoot on the ground

And yet ...

Arrived at the labyrinth centre, after having ritually traveled it, after having “danced” it, the traveler will be changed, in the meaning of the opening to the natural laws and harmonies; harmonies and laws that may be he will not understand, but that he will feel in himself, and with e will be joint (…)

Respect for the earth, nude feet, “telluric” dances, man evolution, transformation, something that deeply impresses the author and has always belonged to her so much that she feels the urgent need of realizing a labyrinth.

By the competent aid of Andrea Amato she begins the building and moves as one of the “Gargantuas” (Charpentier explains that Gargantua was the porter of sacred stones, the giant stones; the Gargantuatas were the giant stones tribes) and carries, exhausted and proud, stones and stones deeply dignified of willing to feel and imagine herself as part of this tribe …

A work, always begins from an idea that penetrates, from the obsession that comes out, by a strong need; after it continues by its fulfillment and, as every time, goes on with all the strength that - in this case - produces for lifting the first stone till the last one with the same unchanged drive.

515 stones positioned one after the other: the building goes on but in the meantime the builder doubts about herself and the work because a labyrinth comes by remote men, belongs to the earth, it always was of the earth and the stones compounding it too are of the earth and they know it; but notwithstanding gloomy thoughts and doubts the builder decides of going on because realizes that doubts and fears are part of this pathway. In the many age-old labyrinths at their centre was always a knight that killed a Minotaur. It's told that the Minotaur symbolizes our fears and our darkness. May be often we didn't begin our journey inwards our centre, many other times we had the courage of doing it, many other times we'll do it to defeat the darkness inside ourselves, to recover our creed, our elsewhere, and at the end ourselves...

While the artist takes and carefully arranges stones, while the doubts (or the Minotaurs), continue to confuse her mind she is anyway always more persuaded: it's worth the effort to begin the travel, find the centre and … not listen to the Minotaurs.

“I carried stones, even if I'm not a giant, to build a pathway that looks like countless others, but really, may be, to only one."

At he entrance Viola writes on two small menhirs 60 cm high with an unknown alphabet that often uses in her paintings, an alphabet tuned with the stone, with roundness of the nature and with the earth, as for finishing the happened act and making it timeless.

She paints an initial stone with a feminine lunar figure nearly a nymph born in that place of snow, sun and rain with the aim to guard the traveler. On some stones that are part of the pathway stand out nero marte coloured necklace pearls: symbols of moments, life fragments, changes.

Well, the labyrinth is finished, but the authoress feels that something eludes her and, as almost ever it happens when a work is realized, every night the labyrinth work comes to her in dream as a torment where she builds other labyrinths many and many times, in different places and spaces, with different colours and materials; the obsession doesn't leave off:

“It's exhausting because in the dream everything is true, toil included.

The obsession is not placated till when I clearly saw that the Minoatur was not in the centre, but was behind every stone, exactly behind every step I made. I thought again to my doubt and to my fears about the sense of the work that accompanied me at every step during the building, and then I understood that the true centre is in the travel and my work, finally, finds identity, peace and title.

Now it remains only to travel it and the metamorphosis, the work will be accomplished”

F.M.

---

At every step a Minotaur

I finish the labyrinth going in it; I become a painting: I put on the red hat, the black dress and my longest necklace because since today my necklace will have one more pearl, one more change.

I leave the shoe at the entrance before the menhir (I maintain the other shoe with me because it is my contact with the earth). I am other, begin to walk, feel the Minotaurs clung to my ankles, that tell me to stop, that I mistake, I'm useless; all this together with other groans mixed among themselves as faraway sounds, but I, at every step, find my centre and go ahead, slowly because I must feel grass under my feet, my travel, that of all.

I feel the earth, who lives and who will live in it, I feel the damp of the soil, its inhabitants. The sun, the air that brushes, I walk slowly and watchful towards the centre.

At every step a Minotaur, fear strain and torments come into myself; 60 m yet: a life.

Here is the centre, my violet chair is awaiting for me, and my black heart too. Slowly I sit down, take off my hat because at the centre reality and unreality merge: both are truth.

I live the chair and the moment as conjunction of past, future and present in an act and unique form.

I remain there hours or may be seconds, doesn't matter, something is happening and all becomes sound.

Now I have to return; it's told that one time returned we'll have a new awareness; I don't know if it's so but I live the return as an other travel. The Minotaurs don't attack me, they have respect for I went ahead and I defeated them; they leave me to pass.

The last Minotaur, before I go out stops me and gives me another pearl to insert it inside my long necklace; he doesn't tell anything but I well know the meaning of the present: an other fundamental black pearl for may necklace because inside it something happened, the pearl contains a transformation.

I exit, I turn round and look at the labyrinth, look at my travel or that of all, read my written on the menhirs and smile. I put on my shoe to completely return to the reality and think that, at every step I'll make again and everywhere, I’ll find a Minotaur, but after I think that now I know something more: the true centre is in the travel.

The work is concluded.

Viola

At every step a Minotaur

The observation by Andrea Volterra:

A travel towards the limit fixed by the fears when a labyrinth is faced, the day-to-day tavel or the symbolic one made of stones plunged in the ground.

A labyrinth is a work for all the days and all the nights, which narrate all the days and all the nights, and every moment in which we fight as does one of the last works realized by Viola and titled “At every step e Minotaur”, a stones labyrinth made in the 2015.

After all, if life is war, the foe is not out of our body. Instants that recur, where the fear, the Minotaur, becomes real and wants to devour you. Well, this travel, or better, this exploration by Viola about the limits clearly show the thin line, almost invisible, between going further, word loved by the artist, and remaining where we are, i.e. not only surrender but worst, leaving ourselves domineer without even trying to fight.

Viola Di Massimo all along forges farther; this is her must, her obsession, what pushes her to go on. This pathway by which continuously testing her own courage and gathering her strength for going on beyond fear accepting it without suffering is exactly the conditioned reflex of all her work.