Details of the work:
Work type: Installation
Technique: Bronze, iron, Murano glass, rope
Dimensions: Base cm [800 X 400]
Mercati di Traiano, Rome – Italy
I am surrounded by the works of Antonio Nocera and I reflect on the theme of the exhibition “Oltre il nido” which is played admirably and made evident in every work presented. My task is not that of an art critic: I would simply like to give the Master and the visitor my growing amazement.
My reflection starts from afar: indelible memories of my childhood that more and more often invade my today and are still intact; for me, winter was the season of empty nests hanging under the roof of the gutters of my house, nests awaiting returns, flights, chirps and departures for new nests. I remember the words of a song that always made me cry “like swallow vo ‘without a nest”. It was the story of a small chimney sweep that left the house, its nest, to go far to work. I remember a sparrow that I gathered wounded and unable to fly, which I helped with so much love to grow and my baby cry when that little bird flew away never to return.
Nocera today fills us with lived, inhabited nests; you want to paint them with your imagination, to fill them with voices and calls. Winter, the season of empty nests, today finally gives way to spring, the season of lushness and buds. The space of reflection widens: the nest is the home, it is the family. It is the place where we grow, from where we start for a new port, it is to go further to multiply the miracle of life. It is where we are born and also where we die. In my most natural way I think of Jesus of Nazareth “who came to dwell among us” for thirty years in the house of growth and then for the last three years on the streets of men to announce “beyond his nest” the Good News . He then entered the homes of men to heal, restore life, restore hope or simply to share the table: it is God who leaves his home to enter the homes of men, good or bad, to make them his friend. There is a beautiful image that Jesus himself tells us with these words in the Book of the Apocalypse: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door for me, I will come to him, dine with him and he with me. ” It is impressive the frequency in the Gospel of phrases such as these: “Jesus left the crowd and went into the house”, “as he entered the house”, “today salvation has entered this house”: it is the act of love of the God mysteriously here I’m.
The nest makes you think seriously about the generous reception: the nest is in fact a house that has the door always open, it is the place where every woman is the mother of life. The bowels of the woman are a biblical image of God’s merciful tenderness, “He who has maternal bowels”. The house, the nest is not only ours today: it is above all our tomorrow, from where to start to build and build. I also think of all the evil that seems to loom over our homes in every part of the world: pains and tears that no one knows. A phrase by Pascal illuminates our life with hope, projecting it beyond all expectations; that living most of the time spent to build realities that respond only to private and limited interests, able to create nests and houses without sky more like cages than places of life: “Consider the greatness of our goods in the magnitude of our ills and that the excess of our pain is the measure of that of our joy “.
The reflections end here: I would like to sympathize with those who visit this exhibition. I know Antonio Nocera, I love his art because he is capable of interpreting authentic, true, testable and unique values, in a word, universal or – if it is better believed – “intercultural”. Nocera is able to “see” the work of art that is born in the heart first and then in mind: while you talk to him his eyes light up to present you, perhaps only after two days, a splendid “Christus patiens”, supreme call and always present in the work and therefore – I am sure – in the life of the Master. This is what happened in 2005; the catalog, edited by Paola Di Giammaria, testifies to a journey that seems almost a miracle: from the encounter to the realization of a work that is very dear to me. This is what I contemplate every day in my Church of the Holy Spirit of the Neapolitans, in Rome, in Via Giulia.
Mons. Natalino Zagotto
Episcopal Vicar for the Consecrated Life of the Diocese of Rome