The second part of Cattelan’s work was found not far from the synagogue, on the outer wall of the church St. Martin, a modern crucifixion scene. On the wall next to the steeple you saw a female figure, some sort of counter-figure to the historic Christina monument on the other side of the church steeple. The Blessed Christina of Stommeln was a medieval mystic who was expelled from its village community who failed to understand her, but was later, and continues to be, revered because of her stigmata and miracle healings.
Cattelan’s work often toys with past and future, re-reading old stories, and opening up to new interpretations in the context of passed-down images. His work for Stommeln betrays close proximity to the local legend, but also employs art history quotes. As pastiche, it oscillates between a Madonna representation, a crucifixion, and an extraordinary representation of the Passion. Yet Cattelan’s sculpture denies the viewer direct eye contact. Turning its back, and confined to a box, it is an allegory of sacrifice as much as of salvation.
Maurizio Cattelan was born in Padova, Italy, in 1960. Since the 1990s, a number of renowned museums for contemporary art dedicated solo exhibitions to him, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Fondazione Trussardi in Milan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum für Moderne Kunst and the Portikus in Frankfurt am Main, and the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Cattelan showed five times at the Venice Biennale, and participated in many group exhibitions such as skulptur projekten münster, the Manifesta, and the Whitney Biennial.