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Samuel Sarmiento, La gran cisma, 2020, mixed media on canvas, 495x210cm.
La gran cisma or the Great Schism is a work that speaks about the processes of separation or division following important events throughout the history of mankind. Progress is followed by the destruction or rupture of something else. A kind of sacrifice.
The Great Schism was an important event in the history of religion that took place in 1054 when the catholic church and the orthodox church severed ties with each other because of theological and political differences. This event caused big changes in the development of religious thinking. Sarmiento makes use of the symbology of this event and applies it to all mayor transformations in our history. You can see it for example in the so-called 'discovery' of America by Europe. This was the start of the American-European division and of the ideologies on race that divided humankind into sub-classes. You could also see it in the molecular processes that allow cells to multiply and regenerate tissues. Or in a more contemporary context, it's visible in the way COVID-19 divided countries and people.
Even though the canvas may seem at first glance chaotic, it has a more precise composition. You can see three different areas on the canvas: left, right, and center.