Passing through the city of Carrara here in Italy I’m reminded of parts in our recent conversation when we talked about stone and columns and memory. The marble quarries here in the mountain provided for so many sculptures and columns all over the world, linking Michelangelo’s Pietà to the steps of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, to the Grande Arché de Défense in Paris and Marble Arch in London, to the Pantheon in Rome and Washington’s Peace Monument. This single mountain, cut piece by piece since Roman times, is the invisible centre point of all that mankind wanted to celebrate. Yet the mountain itself, dying a slow death of a thousand cuts, suffers silently, losing almost a million tonnes every year. I feel a possible project here. I might call it Lingchi.
Michelangelo was assigned to restart the marble production from pope Leo X, who was Lorenzo de’Medici’s son. From 1515 to 1518 he worked here to literally design the roads to and from Seravezza, along which huge 25 ton marble blocks were manually transported with an ancient system of sleds and pulleys by 14 year old workers on the steepest of slopes. Up until the 1966. No wonder the contemporary anarchist movement rooted here very strongly.
Your image reminds me of the Srebrenica genocide, Milosević, and Ratko Mladić’s Scorpions, even though I don’t remember seeing tattoos. Predators again. I was young, and it was the first time that I felt the closeness of a war. A city besieged. Their streets were our streets. Their clothes were our clothes. No artificial distance anymore, in time in culture or otherwise. This was home. The red resin of the Sarajevo Rose.
Later that night I hear that Portugal won the soccer cup. Somehow, even though I’d avidly followed every game up until then, I fail to see the value of the game that evening. I take note and move on, things fallen into other perspectives.
My soul feels heavy and thick as marble. I hope all is well, my friend.