Lost Jesus

The project is a personal take on the traditional cross made of wood and iron, decorated with the handpainted figure of Christ surrounded by symbols related to the biblical story or/and to the artisan’s professional background. This kind of cross can still be found everywhere on the Romanian territory, wherever two roads intersect, in front of the Orthodox churches and monasteries and even in the people’s yards. It is a landmark.

However, as the tradition slowly disappears together with the craftsmen, the Christ figures on the crosses along the main roads are replaced with their cheap, tasteless, serial version printed on thick plastic or metal – like the one in the last presented image. To see authentic crosses, one must leave the circulated areas and look for them in remote villages, out in the fields or up in the mountains. There, where once before the wars and the communism were roads, crossroads and prosperous communities, these crosses: alone, rusty, silent, engulfed by the vegetation of maybe old cemeteries, still stand.

The series is about the traditional cross in danger of losing its authentic appearance. It is also about those particular crosses that survived whilst witnessing the disappearance of the ancient way of life. Moreover, though, it’s about the people: a small change in landscape, reflecting a bigger change in people. Just like the figure of Christ, printed on plastic, reduced to the obvious – as shape and meaning – that is universally known, accepted, and eventually ignored, people lose connection with both traditional and spiritual sides; no longer specific, they adapt to the mainstream, to a more general way of life and expression, as their identity becomes sketchy.

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The project follows three intertwined lines: old crosses in context, particular cases of atypical yet still traditional crosses, and details. Ongoing, it can be followed on the Journal.

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