Christ of the Tears, by Tempio Industriale

April 1, 2021
(Used by permission of the artist)

The evening after protests in Turin, Italy, Tempio Industriale—artist Valerio Perino—gathers tear gas canisters from the city streets. He creates artwork from urban refuse, from items that symbolize the environments that contain, discard, or deploy them. He reflects to viewers a materialism of the Western world: the detritus of buildings, the symbols of policing. From metal scraps found on city streets and in abandoned factories Tempio Industriale brings together fraught symbols to draw attention to humanity. His icons are as earth-laden and time-bound as traditional Orthodox icons are ethereal. Yet they are also signifiers of something beyond, something that is lit through, where, as he writes on his website, “the Sacred is not completely lost.” Every bolt and bullet, every canister and hex head of a city’s refuse may point toward that which harms and that which is sacred—as in his piece Christ of the Tears, in which the crucified one of the urban streets speaks what is true.