Are iconography and imagination compatible? How important are both to religious belief and celebrations of holidays like Christmas? These are the questions that French artist Émilie Voirin addresses in her work, in particular a minimalist nativity set that is available for purchase on her website just in time for the holidays. Though some of human history’s most beautiful art has come out of Christian iconography, it has also been a source of enormous conflict and violence. In addition, the race of Biblical figures has been hotly debated for centuries, with some people preferring to go with historical evidence and others feeling more strongly about imagining them as figures that they can identify with – and who look like them.
All these questions are rendered moot by Voirin’s work, which reduces the people, animals and angel present at the nativity to beechwood blocks that are labelled n an almost deadpan manner. “The characters have lost their features and colors for a modern appearance that could appeal both believers and atheists,” says Voirin, whose work looks at traditional Catholic iconography in new ways. “The holy scene that has been broadly reproduced is here recognizable by the names only, giving free rei[g]n to people’s imagination.”
See some more photos below.
Source: The Verge