MAN ON THE CROSS

Grisia 2000.
Rovinj
Croatia

Performance 'Man on the Cross'
Idea by Branko Gulin
Performed by: I. J. Pino Ivancic and Branko Gulin

Like many artists before me, this performance was inspired by the symbol of the cross. My goal was to empathize with all humans who are suffering. During our lifetime we are all “crucified” by decisions we have to make and paths we choose, many of which are filled with pain and suffering.
So goes the adage: Each has his or her own cross to bear.
In this performance I created a live picture (Man on the wooden Cross - Crucifix) posted on the ground in front of a church. I “crucify” a man (Pino Ivancic) and from his beard, his crown of thorns, clothes, nails, etc., I create relics, sealing them in bottles meant as reliquary I then sell to onlookers and passers-by. This performance critiques how human suffering has long been used for profit, and it demonstrates the commercialization of the sacred through the merchandising of “sacred” objects.
While performing, a Mass was being held inside the church. After Mass, a priest, who’d come out of the church and was shocked by our performance, immediately called the police. He explained we were insulting the Faith and didn’t have the right or license to use a man as Christ or to make of him for sale any relics. When a policeman arrived, he requested our identification for the purpose of prosecution, and we were forced to stop the performance. We were sued by the police for disturbing the peace, but the judge dismissed the case. This incident caused a big stir in Croatia regarding freedom of expression and the position of Church and State vis-à-vis individual freedom.


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