Marco Bellomo

Marco Bellomo

Palermo, IT



The idea of memoryas a reservoir that collects inert contents, now worn out by the passage of time, is often accompanied by the tendency to consider a museum as a non-interactive environment, whose spectators are not called to get involved as active protagonists of their passage.

This project moves in the opposite direction: it aims at the total involvement of the visitor. The memorial dedicated to the ‘unknown soldier’follows a spiritual path that guides the visitor towards the experimentation of dark, ineffable dimensions, such as death and rebirth.

Here the atrocity of war turns into a cognitive experience of a limit situation: the horror can be redeemed by the possibility of a mystical regeneration, a return to life.

Therefore, we thought of a memorial as a non-inert place, but dynamic, the theater of a journey that unfolds from the underworld, from the dark depths of the self, towards a potential rise (a rebirth) and finally reaches the ultimate vision of the mystery: the absolute as the climaxof this ascent.

The visitor explores various stages, through a path that symbolizes the journey into the underworld and the consequent regeneration, hoping for a time without the horror of the war. In fact timewill be the essential element, as a scan of the rhythm of existence, to whose margins, life and death chase each other in a cycle, without ever overlapping. The protagonist of the journey is therefore the research of the visitor, who will come close to atmospheres at first alienating and full of anxiety - while immersing himself in a hypnotic, perturbing dimension - to feel at the end a state of liberation and peace, at the height of the journey (the climax, in fact). More than a passive spectator, the visitor will be called to experience on himself the loss of the descent and the ecstasy of the ultimate contact with the absolute. The dialogue with the natural element will be constant - the climb to the top of the promontory, where the museum is located, immerses the visitor in the charming landscape of Capo d'Orso, where the beauty of nature acts as a counterpoint to the violence of the historical events that happened here.  Once again, life and death.  Similarly the choice of using the themes and styles of the nuragicmythology expresses the desire to revive, in a modern key, some sections of the funerary complexes and agrarian rites of rebirth, typical of the territory in ancient times. This kind of Orphic journey, once crossed the initial path (the Charon path), reaches the GiantsCircle- the constant reference is the one of the giants of Mont'e Prama - at the center of which is placed a circular water source similar to a cavea, whose concentric circles recall the form of Dante's Hell. The presence of a semi-triangular segment inside the fountain (on whose steps the visitor can sit and contemplate the flow of the water) echoes the strong religious value of the wells of Santa Cristina - another element of the Nuragic civilization. The giants will be a presence that recurs throughout the journey and, especially, among the underground rooms of the underwater museum. Beyond the source, we climb towards a monolithwith a spiral hollow structure, inside which there is a statue of a giant. The matter of the monolith is reminiscent of that of the sound stones assembled by Sciola: the visitor can, therefore, rub the walls of the building to produce that same hypnotic sound that will help him progressively slide into a state of suggestion similar to the mystical trance. Lastly, to the right of the source the visitors enter in a labyrinth (also inhabited by giants) - a metaphor for the spiritual journey, through which one must get lost in order to find oneself. Reaching the top of the promontory (second last step of the visiting path), one will descend below ground level, to visit the museum, where will come across other giants that seem to float in pools of water. It is believed that, in the nuragic necropolis, these giants were erected in memory of the ancestors. The museum giants are a symbol of the war dead and in their memory they float in these pools. The choice of water is not random. Water is another essential prerogative within the mystical imagery that comes from death and rebirth - an ambivalent element that can represent the abyss as immersion in the unknown depths of the self, or life, regeneration as the hope of a new beginning, the cyclic fecundity of nature. Leaving the museum, we head towards the last stage: the perception of the divine. A prohibition of transit will put the visitor to the test: only those who are dazzled by the beauty of the space beyond the prohibition, to the point of violating it, will be able to access the area in the centre of which a large tree will be a metaphor of the divine. In this space, the silence will be interrupted only by the regular ticking of a drop of water: water that marks the time of existence, the rhythms of life, death and rebirth.


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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Sardegna
My Role: Leader
Additional Credits: Giuseppe Bellomo, Andrea Quagliana