Massimo Cristaldi Simulacra

A Simulacrum. The representation of a God, an image that does not correspond exactly to reality. Modern society, Baudrillard claims, has replaced reality and meaning with symbols and signs and has become so reliant on simulacra that it has lost contact with the real world on which the simulacra are based. These photographs are, to this respect, simulacra of simulacra. Small votive altars that populate Sicilian nights, often neglected, and to some extent, more and more anachronistic. Mysterious, dilapidated, illuminated or not, abandoned, overwhelmed by galloping globalization and by general indifference.

“Massimo Cristaldi’s Simulacra depicts small-scale Southern Italian religious edifices in nocturnal composure. Photographed from an impersonal middle distance, these ensconced and freestanding roadside shrines stand humble, sentinel. The religious icons within them are largely unseen, their very existence called into question by the effects of the long-exposure Cristaldi employs even their own interior glow precludes their visibility. In this average street-side context, the physical and supersensible signifiers are conflated. Physical cars may recede into the sort of light-streaked oblivion generated by a slow shutter at night; the stationary but seemingly remote shrines themselves over-expose to create an indeterminate burst of light.”

Text by Alan Rapp

All images © courtesy of Massimo Cristaldi