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Your Own Mass-Produced Jesus: A Photo Series About Switching from Craft to Plastic

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

In his photo series called People and Crosses, Romania-based photographer Vasile Dorolti focuses on the crosses one can encounter at the gates and on the streets of Maramures County, in Romania, to tell a story about change, modernization and the loss of old traditions.

These representations of Jesus are part of the Romanian countryside landscape and a symbol of people’s spiritual views. Traditionally, they were handcrafted locally and so they were also visual displays of local art. But local handcrafting skills are quickly disappearing and their preservation hardly encouraged. And so the locals switch to representations of Jesus mass produced somewhere in the World. The new plastic Jesus does not reflect the old spirit of the villages but a new trend instead, a mix of consumerist practicality and kitsch.

Such a close look at an element so common that could easily pass unnoticed, is subliminally pointing at the switch between tradition and what is considered modern. Changing from handcrafted to plastic Jesus reflects a loss of meaning and a dubious aesthetic sense.

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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© Vasile Dorolti

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