Rini Hurkmans
video works
Pietà, A Reconsideration of the Gesture


Relic (fragment 00:52)

HD video
dimensions variable
25:33 min loop, sound

Relic shows the permanent stream of people trying to capture an image with their cameras and smartphones of Michelangelo's famous Pietà. Originally one could experience the statue up close, but now this is no longer possible because a thick glass wall protects it. The Pietà was given this protection in the St. Peter's Basilica after the statue was attacked and then restored. With the restoration of Mary's severed arm, her inviting gesture was restored, but the setting negates the call for public involvement. Only when the lens of a camera is zoomed in, one can create a form of proximity. As such, Relic shows how the sculpture becomes a representation of itself.