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february 2020

On February 19th, a wooden cross was stolen from one of the entrances to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem) and temporary replaced with another made from wood found in the Church's worksite.

The Via Dolorosa is the way that Jesus is supposed to have walked on the day of his death, a Friday. Visited everyday by thousands and thousands of pilgrims and tourists, it is one of the trademarks of the christian Old City, charged with authentic history, faith and pain. The symbol of christianity comes from that day, it entails the sorrow of every man on earth, the God’s forgiveness through Jesus. The most violent episode in jesus’ life is re-enacted by the faithful in order to feel that pain and commemorate that day. But the cross may also be seen as the symbol of the Old City, by extension. Or better, one of the many symbols of Jerusalem as the capital of the three main monotheistic religions.
Re-presentations of pain, re-presentations of re-presentations of pain with a smartphone. Or, according to media theory, presentations. Not reenactments, just reality.
Is the pain real through a screen? Is the cross big and heavy enough? It should not seem fake.
There is a warehouse with some 50 wooden crosses. Each is around $50 per group, depends on how far you can bargain, or how much you paid for your tour guide.
That wooden cross lying against the wall of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre ceases to be one of the 50 available for renting. It is the real cross that Jesus carried all the way out there, he left it outside, entered the big door and immediately to the right he went up the golden stairs to the Calvary. It’s worth a pic.
From the original experience to the compressed video sent on Whatsapp, the cross becomes a good, you become God.

With the help of Jana Stein, Márton Rozsáli, David Cannard, Petra Bašnáková.

performance, 11min 17s two-channels video