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simon ward photo - purificator

Purificator #1
2006, Archival digital C-type print.
simon ward photo - purificator

Purificator #2
2007, Archival digital C-type print.
simon ward photo - purificator

Purificator #3
2007, Archival digital C-type print.
simon ward photo - purificator

Purificator #4
2007, Archival digital C-type print.
simon ward photo - purificator

Purificator #5
2006, Archival digital C-type print.
simon ward photo - purificator

Purificator #6
2006, Archival digital C-type print.

still life

signs

purificator

guardians

holly

memorial

the calvaria

vanitas

after-life

 

work in progress

simon ward photo - purificator simon ward photo - purificator simon ward photo - purificator simon ward photo - purificator simon ward photo - purificator
simon ward photo - purificator        
         

Purificators - The immaculate collection

These images are scans of 'purificators' - the correct ecclesiastical 
term for those squares of white cotton or linen used to wipe the wine 
from the rim of the chalice in the celebration of the Eucharist. In 
the act of communion, the faithful believe that the wine becomes 
transubstantiated
 into the blood of Christ. The purificator, pristine and 
immaculate, becomes variously stained with red traces and smears as 
it is held against the rim of the vessel. An anthropologist might see 
in this ritual a complex exchange of symbolic polarities - the pure 
and the soiled, the primary and the contingent. The crisp white 
square records the encounter with the red stain in a way that is 
close to the biblical narrative of the Shroud of Veronica. Christ, 
sweating from the strain of carrying the cross through the streets of 
Jerusalem on his way to Calvary, is approached by a woman who steps 
forward from the crowd and offers Christ her veil. She wipes his 
blood and sweat onto the white cloth and, a moment later, Christ 
moves on to his inexorable fate. Veronica looks down at the cloth in 
her hands and unfurls the fabric: the stain miraculously paints a 
picture of the face of Christ. In fact, the name Veronica means 
exactly this: a true image. The legend of the Shroud of Veronica has 
a special resonance for the photographer because photography too 
claims to produce a true image, an authentic picture of the world, as 
the impassive camera registers the image before it.

Paul Kilsby 2006