Project Detail: Gates


IBSA Foundation Covid19




Mattia Sugamiele


Project Info


between religion and science

A flux of images is coming into our houses, said Paul Valery in 1928. Today, in the era of coronavirus it is profoundly real: we paused our lives staying home and images are the only source of information of the world outside. Once, we thought the digital world as ancillary to our everyday life, today it seems the only life we have been leaving in the past months. Thus, the circulation of images and their fruition started to scan our moments and the perception of time that passes.
This is the imaginary where the author focuses his research, gathering and archiving iconic images, rather choosing those regarding religion; for its role in society and the attack it is leaving now, in this historical period more than any previous war or natural disasters, calamity or tragedy. We witness the Pope praying with an empty Saint Peter’s square or the Western Wall becoming just like any other place to sanitise with no presence of praying people. Along with this research, the artist looks up for representations of the virus from internet medical studies, from which he abstracts adding them to the composition of the initial religion image activating a process of stratification of signs and meanings.
The result makes one to figure different gates, holes into the same image that di- sorient or re-orient the viewer into other possible digital portals. A Mosque welcomes its members completely wrapped in cellophane as a protection from the virus, and at the interior of the plastic blow-ups viruses appear and mix with the other elements. A new index is encrypted made of an artificial landscape formed by layers of informations, elements and entities their history, their addition and subtraction to the dialogue that is triggered among them, their ambiguous combinations and their juxtaposition that enlightens the collision between the fragility of religion and the crystallized truth of science. The clash between worship and human science echoes the complexity of the time we are now leaving, opening up a space for new questions.