The wayside cross illuminated by a beam of light breaks through the dreariness of the surroundings. As relics of an almost bygone world of beliefs and values, these crosses protrude into our globalized, digitalized, rational world. In the past, these crosses, memorial crosses, pilgrimage crosses and plague crosses, spoke of losses, fears and hopes. Today – if even noticed at all – they ask about our position between traditional faith and individual spirituality. Often, they stand on busy streets and whenever the sound of a passing car dies down and silence falls, one may sense an aura of the place. However, the crosses themselves produce a resonance in only a few. Bartnik is fascinated by objects that – unnoticed in the course of time – have slipped from our consciousness. Only when, by chance, his gaze falls on them does he still perceive them. The crosses show Bartnik how much our beliefs and values have changed. The photographic staging with additional lighting allows the crosses to flash out of their oblivion for a moment and contrasts them with their surroundings, in which they seem like foreign bodies of a bygone era.
The German photographer and natural scientist Eckart Bartnik (b.1957) works in basic research. For almost five decades, photography has been his means of artistic expression. Numerous workshops with renowned photographers such as Wolfgang Zurborn, Markus Schaden, Thekla Ehling, Olaf Otto Becker, Göran Gnaudschun and Torben Eskerod have shaped his visual language. His work has been shown internationally in group and solo exhibitions, and published in daily newspapers such as the FAZ, magazines and trade journals such as Stern and Wings, as well as online including in Spiegel-Online and The Guardian.