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Wegkreuz

2019_today

With "Wegkreuz", Davide Perbellini addresses the theme of popular devotion, reflecting on the phenomenon of so- called "field crosses”: the roadside shrines bearing crucifixes often found in the mountains of South Tyrol and its neighbouring regions. These crosses are used for funerary and inscriptional purposes, for apotropaic purposes, or sometimes simply as "signposts" (as is evident from their German name "Wegkreuz", literally "way cross"). They are part of the phenomenon that anthropologist Emanuela Ranzetti has described as the "grammar of salvation": a form of widespread popular worship, rooted in the Alpine territory, linked to an ideal of religiousness lived in a spontaneous, accessible and collective way.
This is a story conveyed through a repetition of the same iconography, reminiscent of the seriality so dear to the Düsseldorf school, with shots in which the human figure is absent yet continuously evoked by various details—for example, the presence of fresh flowers, or, in one image, the detail of a ladder left leaning against a fence, used by somebody to reach the cross more easily. Specialising in architectural photography, Davide Perbellini has focused his attention on the different ways of representing the sacred for several years: with “Wegkreuz", he continues this investigation, looking at the ways in which an ideal, linked to a form of worship, has been written into the history of a territory.

Anna Zinelli
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