An idol is a natural or imaginary reference to which certain sacred powers are attributed.
Idol worship is as old as mankind. At the dawn of the first human cultures, idolatrous references can be found. This proves how humankind has always had the need to visualize in a tangible way what is not within his reach, what is superior to him, what escapes his knowledge, his abilities…
Ever since the human being has had reasoning capacity, there has been an awareness of the end of life. The fear of the unknown has led to invented theories which give continuity to existence. Because of this, different religions have emerged.
Some of the images used by these faiths, such as Christ, Buddha, Lucifer, Tor, Roar, Zeus, Manitou, Jupiter, Hestia … represent idols that in different times and cultures are often linked to implausible and fantastic beliefs but which are faithfully followed by millions of people. All of them symbolize a supreme being who promises life in another dimension after death. These icons express the need to believe in the existence of a “superior” being, often humanized, who dominates everything and is solely responsible for the joys and sufferings that affect mortals.
Religious leaders have made use of different religious doctrines’ and people ́s faith, hence finding a way to serve their interests and/or those of the ruling class.
The promise of a paradisiacal life after death if the sacred ordenances were strictly followed and the threat of eternal punishment and insurmountable hell if unfaithful to divine will, has subjugated people to external interests. This could be the most skilful dominions over mankind.
On the other hand, there is currently an idol cult that is not strictly religious, although in many cases it has sectarian connotations. The so-called “mass idols” are used as an example to follow. Rulers, sportsmen, singers and countless public figures have been presented as role models. A multitude of people take these characters as their reference, imitating their way of life and their imagined virtues. There is no supernatural promise, it is clear that in these cases the economic or political intention is the backbone of this idol cult.
The photographs in this series are a collection of images representing idols from different cultures. There are different figurations in all of them: some are religious and others are not directly related to any doctrine. They all have a common denominator, they are a representation that is admired or worshipped by a more or less numerous community and have been use to to take advantage one way or another.
NUMBER OF IMAGES: 18 (in progress)
50 x 50 copies on paper 60 x 80
Hahnemühlemat paper. Giclée copy