As with the infinity symbol that The Third Paradise has echoes of, the amount of ways it can be interpreted is virtually limitless as well. It is light and dark, positive and negative, as referenced by an exhibition of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s art at Partners & Mucciaccia. Consisting of mirrors with a strategic portion of their glass and frames cut away, Pistoletto said this allows you to actually see the mirror itself for what it is. And perhaps this also allows viewers to reflect, both literally and figuratively, on the mirror itself.
A symbol of creation
In addition to it resembling the symbol for infinity, the centre of The Third Paradise also represents the coming together of two disparate elements, in order to create something new. “Two different elements that produce a third element that didn’t exist before,” said Pistoletto. He cites the example of a duet between a soprano and a tenor, with the symphony of the two voices coming together producing a completely new and beautiful music. In addition to that, we now have to become masters at putting together nature and technology. “We are at the beginning of a new era,” asserted Pistoletto, saying we as homo sapiens must reconcile that with the inevitable rise of the ‘homo techno’.
(Third) Paradise on Earth
It’s clear The Third Paradise is more than just a mere work of art. If we may make so bold, it’s a philosophy, a way of life and a vision of an enlightened, utopian future. The only bad news is that we’re only taking our first tottering steps on that path, said Pistoletto. To achieve a true paradise, Pistoletto said we must acknowledge that two seemingly opposing things must come together to make a new whole. The key here is balance, he said, and if we can’t come to a consensus and bring these opposing elements into equilibrium, the world can never be perfect. “When I turn on the television or look at the newspaper, what I see is a society not able to find a balance, to find a good system to organise itself. We need to work with others, with society, in order to have a better life, to have a balance,” he said.
The Third Paradise belongs to everyone
“I don’t feel happy if I just make my own personal creation because I am part of society,” said Pistoletto, referring to how The Third Paradise is a dialogue between him and society in general. By engaging in dialogue, an exchange of ideas can be started and the possibilities that come out from that is limitless. And Pistoletto’s role in that, as a creator of The Third Paradise is to be a creator. Perhaps he summed it up best when he said, “They call me ‘maestro’. Maestro means they have to teach people, to be teachers of creation. Everybody can teach somebody else of his own of experience of creation.”
The Third Paradise is infinity itself
“The creation is a process without end,” he said. The organic nature of the dialogue around The Third Paradise means it’s a collaborative effort, and more importantly, one that will always go on. It will evolve and perhaps even part of its original form will be destroyed, but that’s a natural process of life, said Pistoletto. What is destroyed will eventually be constructed, perhaps into something completely new, and that’s the essence of the Third Paradise. Pistoletto said: “We can say the same of society; it is a system that is able to understand the function of nature and has the capacity of creation. It is always something of perpetual movement.”