He enters a labyrinth, and multiplies a thousandfold the dangers that life in itself brings with it.” - Frederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
According to Greek mythology, the labyrinth was designed by Daedalus for King Minos of Crete in order to detain the monster Minotaur. In the Middle Ages, it was related to one’s spirituality by walking with faith, no matter what obstacles life brought you. While a labyrinth can be compared to a type of maze, its purpose is much different. Labyrinths are often flat and structured with rocks, forming a circle with a single path that leads to the center. Mazes were built to confuse the traveler with multiple choices often leading to dead-ends; while a labyrinth’s function is to initiate a mindful journey.
Experiencing land art is a way to isolate the audience; to get in touch with one’s inner self through the exploration of the natural world. Land artists were, and still are, particularly interested in going into the wilderness to execute their work. The wilderness is a part of nature where no evidence of human contact can be traced. It appeals to those who wish to remove themselves from the comforts of society, and isolate themselves from the chaos of the metropolis. The experience of walking through a labyrinth, combined with an immersion into the natural world can be a retreat for both mind and body. Contemporary artists, designers, and architects have used the ritualistic concept of the labyrinth in their work, such as getting lost and overcoming challenges, to engage their audience.
“The wilderness as the sublime of our consciousness. The deeper we travel or adventure seeks into the forests of knowledge the more depths we explore of our mind.” -Frederich Nietzsche, The Divine Animal
Fiumara d’arte located in Messina, Sicily, is a park by the sea which is home to a couple of land artworks including Labyrinth of Arianna (1989) designed by Italian artist Italo Lanfredini.