“I am mirror, I am mirror, no words, no words, Will you be able
to see my ecstasy, if your ear turns into eye”. (Gilal ad-Din
The mirror reflects the truth, the knowledge of the things, of the world, of the self. The mirror is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge which, when covered in dust, refers to the idea of the spirit obscured by ignorance (on this regard we should think of that Elevage de poussière, wonderfully cultivated and nurtured by Man Ray and by Marchel Duchamp's Large Glass).
It is of fundamental importance to remember that the etymology of the term speculation, reflection (once again the same double meaning), thought, philosophical meditation, derives from the Latin word speculum. Originally 'to speculate' meant to observe the movements of stars in the sky through a mirror. Equally the word sidus, star, has given us consideration, which etymologically means to look at the whole astral system. Both these abstract words, relating to the most complex and high operations of the understanding, have their roots in the study of the sky reflected onto a mirror. But the mirror offers a reversed picture of reality, and the speculation is an indirect lunar knowledge.
“Here is a tree, at the centre of earth, a very big one. The
tree grew and became powerful, its height reached the sky and its
sight the earth's borders. Its crown was beautiful, its fruits abundant.
Everyone could find nourishment in it”. (From the Nabuccodonosor´s
The tree puts in communication three cosmic levels: the underground - through its deep roots; the earth's surface - through the trunk; and the sky? through the branches and the leaves covering them. The reptiles crawling on the ground and the birds flying up in the sky, establish a connection between the Uranium and Ctonio world. Its vertical direction recalls the symbolism of the ascent and the image of the stairs. Support of the Universe and connection among all things, the tree is the main pillar which sustains the temple of home, as well as the spine of the human body: temple and home of the soul. The Tree of the World is a Tree of Life and the representation of the axis mundi, not only in our culture - where it is strongly linked to symbol of the cross - but also in the Buddhist one.
“If the tree could move, if it had feet and wings,probably
it wouldn't be cut, nor would it suffer under the strokes of the
axe. Even if deprived of feet, you should choose to travel within
yourself, as a mine of rubies, you should be open to the influence
of the rays of the sun”. (Gilal ad-Din Rumi).
From the main entrance of the old cellars of the Castle of Ama, we can see a great trunk standing at the end of the staircase. Inside a fissure along the diameter of its trunk has been inserted a mirror (as a sort of lesion), cut in various angles so as to produce different refraction. Michelangelo Pistoletto confronts us with a powerful and synthetic image, a work on the dialectic between the unity and division of the mirror. On the surface the rind is opaque, while inside the light of the mind reigns. The trunk is the uniqueness, the matter; the interior is the forest, and the internal mirror multiplies itself in the repeated refraction of light, until it reaches the infinite.The internal part is also the place where the time marks and draws the tree's age, in circles. With this simple and deep image, Pistoletto reminds us that the thought is always placed inside the physicality of the body.