Mukhalinga main exhibition

The hand and the idea | The mukhalingas | Containing the impossible

Gianfranco Rossi
Containing the impossible

How and why I came to be a mukhalingas collector

Italian version  

Years ago I came into contact with my empty core, it was a moment of both terrible and surprising beauty, a moment that transcended my immediate reality.

I was certain that my dream state was annihilating me, I was enraptured and yet being the pragmatic person that I was I needed tangibility to substantiate my feelings.

That is when I let my eyes rest for the first time on the 'wand of light' - the traditional representation of the cosmic penetrative force, the linga or lingam.

As my studies and investigative research unfolded I became aware of a deep difference between skambha (appellation of Purusha, the masculine half of Brahma, 'a vast embodied being coextensive with the universe') and lingam, but it was not there that my quest started.

Whilst skambha was coextensive with the universe, I felt more like a face given to a moment.

My moment of existential anxiety was primed with my nature, biased by my history, contained in my future, I needed a face for the force I felt and sensed with my entire being.

force I felt and sensed with my entire being. I walked for days, not really knowing what I was looking for, the sensation was as if the voyage I was on, took a mind of its own, guiding me, reflecting me, allowing me to be; I tried not to interfere.

As I travelled these very lonely paths, my emotional state was fluctuating, increasing and decreasing in intensity, as if the very act of seeking was managing to bring into me an old unknown, a somewhat mystical force, of cosmic origin and yet ultimately down to earth.

I sensed that I needed a tangible hide to mask the ever-increasing sensibilities my mind was producing. I say a tangible hide, yet it was not protection that my senses desired but a vantage point, a balcony of sorts, a certain type of existential fortification.

This, I knew, came in many forms and fashions but for me the first sight of a mukhalinga, that which covers the immensity of nothingness, was nothing short of an illuminating moment.

I could not resist the temptation to acquire and possess the mask (mukha) of the sign (lingam), for a mukhalinga covers the vastness of the spiritual interaction and allows respite, silence and a deep tranquility.

I began my mukhalingas collection that very day, following the sinuous paths of this ancient tradition of seeking the hidden and hiding the sought after, I never knew at that point that I will become a mukhalingas collector, no true collector knows this at first, and yet here I am.

For many years now I look upon my mukhalingas collection as a sort of unfolding understanding, a comprehension of the human mind in its quest both of that which moves all and that which covers the real.

I hope that I can share via the material manifestation of the mukhalingas collection, present, a small part of the greater understanding we all partake in and to which I had the privilege and fortune to be exposed to.