TAO > Sénanque Abbey (France) > Luca Rossi

an action (to photo an empty display case), photographic documentation, Luca Rossi 2013. 

The Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque, in the south of France, is a great “religious Walt Disney” that welcomes thousands of visitors every day.

Luca Rossi moved the visiting hours that were placed on a large empty case and began to obsessively photograph the inside of the case.

The action of photographing the display case becomes a sort of flash mob, a candid camera towards so many tourists that begin to slow down their pace, rub their eyes, until they get to photograph themselves that mysterious emptiness. A void that, if we look at the photographic documentation, is not really a void: a micro universe, a landscape emerges from the case. The typical veins of Zen gardens, a slit, a small object right on the edge, but invisible to a distracted look. Ethereal figures that manifest themselves reflected in the case. Fragments of white color and a very small Tao visible only through the macro of photography. In this case we can say that the mediated experience that we can do in the silence and calm of our daily life, returns a much more interesting and complete experience than the direct experience.

The monks themselves refused to keep this display case officially, because they counter how “non-Christian” symbols cannot be displayed in the abbey. But for the monks themselves the case is empty, what then does the “non-Christian” case contain? Is it not perhaps the same “void” in which religion itself asks us to believe? This project carried out in 2013 continues a series of interventions that can be considered “positive attacks” aimed at reconstructing the sense of place instead of destroying things and people.