The Crucifixion

Exhibit outside a shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2009

Instead of Mary and St. John, the cross is flanked by the naked figures of Adam and Eve standing at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The naked figures along the base recall baroque-era Crucifixions that put the souls in Purgatory beneath the foot of the cross.

Other details, such as the ladder and the cock, recall the "Arma Christi" often inscribed on churchyard crosses in Mexico, while the arm attached to the ladder recalls the device of the Franciscan Order. The traditional INRI "king of the Jews" plaque is here transformed into a star of David.

Several details serve to relate the scene to the lives of the poor in today's New Mexico: the dice, Christ's red "swim trunks," and the re-imagining of Veronica's veil as a T-shirt and the forbidden tree as a creosote bush.

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Photographed at the site by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.