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Marina Slavova talks with Valentina Sciarra on the occasion of her solo exhibition in Structura Gallery "Salt Free Tears", 05.11.2021 - 04.12.2021. Camera: Kalin Serapionov. Supported by the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria.

Salt free tears 

Solo exhition at Structura Gallery Sofia 

4th Novemebr - 5th Decemebr 2021 

Curator: Maria Vassileva

Valentina Sciarra's project, created especially for Structura Gallery, is dedicated to death as an extension of life. Disappointed by its denial, non-acceptance and misunderstanding, the artist tries to restore the relationship between the different elements of the cosmic cycle as it existed in ancient cultures.

 

Sciarra bases her study on historical references that prove the wisdom regarding the perception of death. The constructed belief systems and rituals support the process of deep and peaceful insight into the meaning of existence on earth and the journey of the soul beyond the limits of the corporeal.

 

Nowadays, the vital breath, psyche, has lost its leading role of reviving the gross matter. The spiritual principle has given place to the body as the sustainer of life, and the soul is only its guest. Death refers only to the machine-body and its breaking.

 

The broken soul-body relationship not only makes the acceptance of the end an impossible mission, but also affects life on earth, subject only to the urges of the body. Valentina Sciarra is convinced that in order to change this and "breathe life" into contemporary culture, we must start from the point of no return: death.

 

The exhibition presents: Tombs (a new aesthetic conception of the Western tomb and an attempt to reformulate its canons thanks to the concept of "suspended sculpture" as an element between life and death), Home Altars (a revival of the practice of having symbolic objects in the home as places to store prayers), Time Machine (showing the continuous cycle between life and death), and a game book (written by Valentina Sciarra and accompanied by graphics created by Victoria Staykova based on the author's original drawings for the project; made as a complex object, the book embodies Sciarra's belief that play is a key element in accepting the concept of death).

 

The artist focuses on the meaning and beauty of lost rituals celebrating death. The long road to the afterlife is important, as part of the past-future dichotomy and in opposition to today's present-day presentist view that nothing exists but the Here and Now. Valentina Sciarra's objects are works of art, but they can also be utilitarian - part of her understanding of the interconnectedness of processes or they can be used in daily life to becomes part of his understanding of the interconnectedness of processes. 

Maria Vassileva