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Alpha and Omega
Director of high school Core Curriculum and professor of Master's Degree in Christianity and Contemporary Culture
Last October was one of the hottest months in history... In the fall, cold and rain are not only normal, but a blessing that allows us to sip our way through the winter. But these high temperatures seem to be breaking our common sense and are certainly unhinging our aesthetic sense.
We have been stunned by a black October that should make us think again, that should lead us to consider that not all our actions, even when we are defending a good cause, are acceptable. In addition to the barbarity of the war that has been dragging on for months, to the madness of energy prices - which have triggered uncertainty and unrest in so many families - in recent weeks we have witnessed a chain of attacks on cultural events of various kinds that are not only striking, but also vertiginous. We are facing a socio-political environment with certain pathological features.
The conference room Chiaramonti of the Vatican Museums houses about a thousand pieces of incalculable historical and artistic value. What goes through the head of an individual to knock down and crush two busts from Roman times? Beyond the terror provoked in those who were in that place at that moment, and beyond the material damages, is it possible to consent to a tantrum of such caliber as a reaction to the impossibility of being received by the Pope? More than an action of the Vatican Gendarmerie, we should prescribe a good dose of aesthetic attitude, which is that way of being in the world capable of recognizing that beauty is not only an object of delight, but, above all, an invitation to take care of everything and everyone. Nothing can be fixed by putting Roman marbles in the blender and crushing them: that is neither appetizing nor pleasant nor tasty... It has nothing to do with beauty.
Soup cans became a pop art icon thanks to Andy Warhol, but tomato soup a la Van Gogh is a dish that can only be served at cafeteria in London's National Gallery. Two Just Stop Oilla activists put it on the menu when they dumped the contents of a can of Heinz Tomato Soup on The Sunflowers. How are you going to defend the climate cause by damaging a cultural asset? Where is the logic of your action? How can you ecologically justify the destruction of an aesthetic ecosystem? Some might think: "They could have chosen another work that had more to do with the industrial revolution, like those of Joseph Wright of Derby", and so, at least, you would have the intellectual connection between a historical event and a model of development not Exempt of perversities. In any case, a violent act, whether against a cultural good or against a living being, is still a symptom of dehumanization, of loss of capacity for reflection and of derangement in our way of acting rationally.
Letzte Generation attacked The Haystacks at the Barberini Museum near Berlin, where they threw mashed potatoes on Monet's work with the aim of getting politicians to take action against the climate crisis. goal . Their question was: "What is worth more, art or life?". That question, besides being tricky, is illogical. Isn't art a qualified manifestation of the life of a human being? Isn't the life of a human being something in itself valuable, beautiful, inspiring, unique, like a work of art?
Crushed marble, tomato soup and mashed potatoes ejected... bad ingredients to taste beauty. These three scenes that took place in Rome, London and Potsdam, added to the last one, in the Prado Museum in Madrid, are an example that we are facing a cultural apocalypse whose root is none other than the oblivion of beauty, of that beauty that reminds us that human nature is a true work of art, and that the world is, above all, a creation from the hand of an artist who only acts out of love. This is much more than ecology, it is ecophilia: defense of the common home, of course, but above all recognition that we should love and respect that which gives us life every day, out of love. The memory of the attack suffered in 1972 by Buonarrotti's Pietà, when a heartless man, hammer in hand, struck its veil, brutally amputated its arm and destroyed its nose, is now very distant.
financial aid One of the symptoms of barbarism is the loss of critical capacity, that which enables us to discern between good and bad things, which allows us to have ends and to choose the appropriate means to achieve them. The moment we lose sight of beauty, we will cease to contemplate truth and goodness. We must aspire to continue to recognize beauty in works of art and also in everything that surrounds us, and thus dedicate ourselves to building and tasting a good life, a beautiful life, a full life, a life worth living.