Crucifix by Santos Bregaña for Numena

The first depictions of Christ on the Cross show him with open eyes, triumphing over death. His arms are horizontal, and his legs are parallel, slightly open. His hands and feet are pierced by nails, not three but four. This historical representation of the crucifixion is known as the triumphans. Often depicted with a tunic, footwear, and a king’s crown, the Crux triumphalis appears in Romanesque churches, occasionally “levitating” between the nave and the choir.

Following this in a somewhat disordered manner are other models of representation. Consecutively, there is the Christus patiens, already dead but without suffering, in peace, relaxed, emptied of his will (kenosis). Following this, from the Renaissance, is the Christus dolens, whose figure expresses the ordeal through the grimace on his face and a bodily gesture of pain, with arms and legs bent, showing the suffering from the wounds and the crucifixion. Occasionally depicted naked, but usually with a loincloth (perizonium), he wears the crown of thorns on his head. The effect of gravity is shown, and over the decades and centuries, his arms gradually sag, taking on a Y shape. The five wounds are displayed, and both feet are overlapped. During the Baroque period, the expressiveness obviously increases, and the body twists even more as a sign of torment.

If we could accelerate this sequence of representations, from the triumphans to the dolens, passing through the patiens, over a period from the 5th century to our days, in hundreds of thousands of representations, Christ would perform a sort of dance from the static to the painful. From the triumph over death to the resignation of the end before the resurrection.

In this proposal, a fourth form that does not renounce tradition is presented: a Christus imbricatens (overlapping). In the manner of the well-known paradox of Schrödinger’s quantum superposition, the Son of God is alive and dead simultaneously. Present and absent at the same time, deceased and resurrected in parallel. The piece shows a cross with a figure that is concave, alive, and present on one side, and convex and absent on the reverse side.

A metaphysical Christ, on a contemporary support like a springboard, allows for orientation in the room towards the center of the space for better visibility and can be positioned in one way or another depending on the light and the occasion. In the translucent version, the superposition is even more evident, as shown in the images.