Altar of the Dead Christ (17th century)

Andrea Fantoni
Dead Christ
(17th century)
painted wood

Sidival Fila
New Jerusalem
The installation consists of three different elements joint together in one work, inhabiting the space between the altar rear and the columns of the ambulatory. The first element is a T-shaped iron frame, measuring 212 x 65 x 5 cm, encased in a network of tightly woven polyamide threads of different sizes, which becomes the background to the figure of the lying Christ within the altar; in fact, the whole frame works as a dossal. The second element too consists of an iron T-shaped frame, but is a fully-blown parallelepiped this time, measuring 111 x 58 x 43 cm, tightly woven with polyamide threads of different sizes and hanging from carbon fibre cables. Below, the third element is found: another parallelepiped (73 x 37 x 27 cm), with its six faces made of organic vintage silk from the late 19th century, loom-woven and stitched. From the front, the iron dossal becomes the background to the dead Christ, and Jesus’ figure becomes door to the afterlife, gateway to the Other Side, to the fullness of life that he offered us with his death, source of eternal life. But from the rear, from within the New Jerusalem, where life has already reached its full potential, the dossal becomes shroud for the lying body and the figure of Christ is transfigured, as if already inhabiting a different reality, the divine dimension. The rest of the installation does not try to tell a story, but is allusive to the transcendental element of the reality it belongs to, made as it is from evanescent and transparent matter, conveying, through the suspended and vibrating threads, the feel and the emotion of something descending through space, a true metaphor for the New Jerusalem.
Altare Cripta Dettaglio