Photos and text by Vasile Dorolti
“People and Crosses” is not a study project (it is less than an ethnographic one), not even a photo reporting study (the material doesn’t “catch’ exquisite facts, events or special happenings). Maybe “people and crosses” is rather a kind of a meditation upon an ordinary phenomenon – the accelerated modernisation, with no aims, of a society.
The project is subliminally illustrating, (starting from an apparently insignificant detail in the life of the Maramures county), the crucifix on the margin of the road, the rapid, tragical and irreversible changing of a patriarchal society, within a pseudomodern society, that has been assimilated superficially through the perspectives of an old splitted working class…all these from its origins.
“People and crosses” may as well be a kind of a satire, bearing the following moral: those required to work for our national sense of being, are, in fact, the first who are tricked by stupidity, lack of spirituality and sense of natural humour and, more than this, the absence of love for the so-called Romanian term “herd spirit”.
How can you possibly understand this ordinary state of facts:…Instead of encouraging local craftsmen to paint crosses with their own hands, using their talent and putting their souls into this,…instead of opening new schools and provide food for the people in need, YOU, the pastor of the herd, pull down everything that the former craftsmen masters had created and you are constantly replacing it with plastic icons of the Jesus Christ, as an example or plastic flowers, light bulbs…alll made of plastic?!
I wouldn’t wonder if these plastic items were made in China, for the sake of lowest expense…
To my surprise, the makers of these crosses are anonimous, the sources are vague and hard to date back.
I have given up researching and trying to locate and/or their makers, not being a specialist, myself, in this respect.
I have become much more pleased and content with the idea that they have been there for ages and they will survive, until the near-future-possible “plastic life” could wholly replace our traditions in Maramures.(Hopefully, they won’t!).
Vasile Dorolti was born in Sighetu-Marmatiei. He is one of the most sensitive and one of the best Romanian photographers. He is endowed with a strong sense of team spirit. Most of all, he would reccommend himself, in high modesty, as being a freelance photographer, but, in fact he is a member of various phtographic associations and organisations, both in Baia Mare and in Cluj Napoca. Here and there he was and would always be chosen as a president…after which he would become ignored.
He has displayed his photographies in several personal or group exhibitions, both in the country and abroad, starting with the 1980″s. He is a nostalgic, exquisite artist, who is bound to stay in love with “black and white”.
He has published his photographs in many different albums, such as: “7 Years in Maramures”, “The Apuseni Mountains”, “The Altar Stone”. We are, as well, accustomed to its illustrations in “Dilema Veche”.
His last important project is called “People and Crosses”.