Since its very beginning, the paradox of the cross has disturbed and even offended people. The cross unites two irreconcilable opposites: a deeply cruel death and divinity. It refers to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is at once bleak and a symbol of hope. For 2000 years, the cross has been the symbol of Christianity. And its message is a deeply moving mystery.
Where does our relationship to the cross begin? For German wood carver Hermann Bigelmayr, it is a large part of his artistic exploration. His cross sculptures are full of poetry, diverging from the conventional form. His aim is to give the cross back the mystery it once had but since lost. The story of the cross, the principal symbol of the Christian religion, began with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It represents terrible suffering, as well as hope and redemption. People’s understanding of the cross shifted over the past centuries, moving from a focus on Jesus’ resurrection and his triumph over life and death, to an emphasis on his Passion. Christianity has always sought to find forms which can express the meaning and message of the cross. But the more those fateful events in Golgotha disappear behind the fog of history, the more it becomes clear that the only way to keep the cross alive is to give it an emotive dimension. A short journey through the long history of the cross.