Visita Interiora Terrae

2013 / 2014

The concept of the hermit’s life is deeply anchored in Christianity. It is an existence dedicated to solitude, contemplation and subsistence work. Through prayer and penance, the hermit spends a life completely committed to the praise of God and the service of humanity.

In the imagination, the hermit is a person who has chosen to live isolated from society, in a remote place and in search of a non-frenetic lifestyle, with slow times marked by the rhythms of nature and the passing of the seasons.

In Italy there are more than two hundred hermits: non-confessional, atheist and of different religious beliefs.

This is the story of a journey. A journey from North to South, to silently observe their choice.

“The hermit, in the image with which we are familiar, recalls the desert, solitude. These elements are pure metaphor. Solitude symbolises the path necessary to overcome the centres of noise and agitation that are so common to human beings. The hermit stands silently in the heart of this typhoon. He understands that this wealth of ideas does not represent his true self and so he goes deeper into his emotional sphere. Once there, he finds himself immersed in a whirlwind of feelings. In such a whirlwind, the hermit asks himself once again, “where is my true self?” Alchemy has left a motto that represents the unwavering task of the hermit: “Visita interiora terrae, rectificando invenies occultam lapidem” (Consciously descend into the womb of the earth; as you recompose yourself, you will find the hidden stone)…”.

“Gold does not lie in the clouds, but in the earth trampled by feet”.

(Father Giovanni Maria Vannucci)