"The Silence of the living"_ Monument in memory of Elisa Springer
"The Silence of the living"
Monument in memory of Elisa Springer, Piazza G.Pepe Manduria (TA)
"The train suddenly slowed down its run until it stops. Lifting us to the tip of the feet, and looking at the window with the barbed wire, Vittorio and I noticed the word" Katowitz ": we were in Upper Silesia, we were, therefore, in Poland."
The Silence of the Living, Elisa Springer
Leaving behind the ancient traces of the triple-layered wall that encloses the city of Manduria, continuing in the direction of Avetrana, the roads get narrower and dirty and the Messapian-created pattern of the city starts losing its forms.
The Elisa Springer Monument is thought to be installed in a square at the border of the city, where the urban geometric design fades away and entwines the rigid tessellation given by the fields of wheat and fruit groves. In this precise spot, characterized by the mesh of opposed outlines, the paving of the Memorial is studied to recall the measures of walled city of Manduria allowing the sculpture to generate new horizons and relations between the city and the countryside. The traits and the forms are simple, monolithic and measurable. The vanishing points, both constructed and dissolved, are intended to stress the dual-nature of the site and to create the sense of anguish, puzzlement and annihilation experienced by the ones which have witnessed the Shoa.
The proportions, which closely follow the principles codified by Polyclitus, become altered at the level of the small window situated in the upper part of the sculpture where the sky is violently confined in a few-inches space. The same sky that the people who were deported during the Shoah hopelessly tried to look at one last time.
The square where the Monument is thought to be erected gets heavily marked by the height of the sculpture that creates a wide shadow on the ground. The width resembles the measure of the hold doors of the cattle carriages used to transfer the deportees to the death camps. The tiny groove beside, executed in negative, is emptied by its own substance like a neglected wound that will never be stitched. Elisa springer gravestone becomes a time-recording device and a sundial that keeps count, like a silent witness, of the time of memory.