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The Third Paradise

from january 11, 2016
at the Mercato
Centrale Firenze
by Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto is one of the most well-known contemporary artists in the world and needs no introduction.
At the Mercato Centrale Firenze, Pistoletto – together with the Colombian artist Juan E. Sandoval – has created an installation based on a project from 2003, the year in which he wrote the manifesto of The Third Paradise and drew its symbol, a reinterpretation of the mathematical symbol for infinity. Between the two opposing circles signifying nature and artifice is a central circle that represents the generative womb of a new humanity, overcoming the destructive conflict nature finds itself in in today’s society. This is in fact the true vocation of the Mercato Centrale: being a point of reference for a new Humanism, where respect for what we are and curiosity for the avant-garde can meet.
The project and installation moved, engaged and overwhelmed us. In just four evenings, Valerio di Pasquale, who oversaw the set-up, directed a group of free climbers who scaled more than 250 windows to cover them in over 400 metres of coloured film.
The result was breath-taking: a modern cathedral, a place for the spirit and for sharing, where light presides over the encounter between nature and artifice, of which each of us is not only a spectator but a protagonist. Day and night, natural and artificial lights constantly show us the Third Paradise, and always in a new and different way, regenerating.
Edited by Nicolas Ballario and Domenico Montano

Il Mercato Centrale Firenze presenta

realizzato insieme all’artista colombiano Juan E. Sandoval
What is the Third Paradise?
It’s the fusion between the first and second paradise. The first is the paradise where human beings were totally integrated into nature. The second is the artificial paradise, developed by human intelligence through a process that has today reached international proportions. This paradise comprises artificial needs, artificial products, artificial commodities, artificial pleasures and any other form of artifice. A veritable artificial world has been formed that, with stunning progression, causes, in parallel with the beneficial effects, irreversible processes of worldwide neglect. The danger of this tragic collision between the natural and artificial spheres is by now well-known. The Third Paradise project induces the artifice, aka science, technology, art, culture and politics, to give life back to Earth, together with the task of re-establishing common principles and ethical behaviours, because the effective success of this goal depends on them. The Third Paradise means transitioning to a new level of global civilization, indispensable for ensuring mankind’s survival. The Third Paradise is the new myth that drives each of us to assume personal responsibility in this historic moment. The symbol of the Third Paradise is a reinterpretation of the mathematical symbol for infinity and is formed by a line that intersects twice to form three aligned circles. The two opposing circles signify nature and artifice, while the central circle represents the generative womb of a new humanity.