The Pyramid of the 38th Parallel by Mauro Staccioli
Mauro Staccioli’s Pyramid of the 38th Parallel is one of the works that make up the “Fiumara d’arte” open-air museum.
The 2010 work was placed on a hill in Motta d’Affermo, a small town at 660 metres above sea level whose geographical coordinates exactly centre on the 38th parallel. The choice of location is the need to seal the link between the work and the geographical place with an almost metaphysical abstraction. The gigantic tetrahedron made of corten steel (CORrosion restistance – corrosion resistance and TENsile strength – tensile strength), has a hollow shape.
Corten is a material that tends to oxidise over time and become the colour of the earth, from which it seems to emerge and, almost, be born. In the evening, the structure cools down and it is from this process that echoes and rattles are born, with which the artist wishes his work to speak to its visitors.
The Pyramid of the 38th Parallel rests almost on a rocky area and has a western edge pointing towards Korea on which there is a crack through which sunlight enters. Light here brings us back to the concept of transience, through which the artist celebrates life in its incessant yearning for the eternal.
Entering the pyramid is only permitted during the “rite of light”, during which one enters a very dark cavity, in which one struggles to proceed and keeps bumping along, and which only those who are not afraid will manage to overcome, reaching the light, which represents knowledge.