Every two years, the members of the religious industry and representatives of the clergy meet in the North East of Italy for the World Fair for Church supplies, liturgical and ecclesiastical art.
For the photographic series Besides Faith, Italian photographer Louis De Belle placed himself in the role of a distant observer, focusing on how one’s perception of sacredness might change by looking at religious items displayed in different perspectives.
Text and images © Louis De Belle
This trade fair’s functional infrastructure, stocked with clergy apparel, liturgical items and cult objects, becomes the backdrop of a “counter– reality” made of bored salesmen, busy nuns and misplaced items: a last supper is hanging before a modest refreshment, agonizing crucifixes are being quickly deposited, while industrious sisters do their business.
As the title of the series suggests, De Belle invites the viewer to take a look at this picturesque event by detaching for a moment all of its paraphernalia from the notion of faith.
On the occasion of the exhibition ‘Besides Faith’ at the Kunsthalle of Weimar, a small edition of signed and numbered books was released. Each copy is completely printed on golden paper and hand bound in a 40 pages signature.