Galschiøts værker


Who is the Samaritan?

An art installation about betrayal, consequence pedagogy, compassion and humanism

Spartacus led a rebellion against the Roman Empire in 73 BC. According to some historical sources, the purpose was to abolish slavery. The rebels lost and the punishment was cruel - 5000 people, men, women, children and the elderly (the families of the rebels), were crucified to death. The roads into Rome were allegedly lined with an avenue of suffering and dead crucified rebels.Through this terrifying show of force, the Empire wanted to deter anyone from attempting a new rebellion.

Jens Galschøt will create an artistic representation of this "Spartacus' avenue" with crucified people.


The art installation will consist of 10 individual crosses, each five meters tall, and each mounted with a crucified human in disintegration. The sculptures on the cross are constructed around an anatomical human skeleton (made of plastic), and the flesh, tendons, skin and clothing are recreated in copper. The person will be in disintegration, and you will be able to clearly see parts of the internal skeleton and organs, which, however, are all made of copper. A sign with the nationality of the crucified person is mounted on each cross, e.g. the Egyptian, the Burmese, etc. The crosses are set up like an avenue.

On the individual sculptures, a name plate sits exactly where you would normally place the "INRI" (King of the Jews) plate on a crucifix, and this placement refers directly to the cross of Jesus, who was innocently crucified on false charges. The nameplates also create a direct parallel to the present, where the sculptures represent today's rebels - the Syrians, the Burmese, the Egyptians, the Tunisians, the Palestinians, the Kurds, etc. People who have fought for human rights and freedom, but have lost. The nameplate is in the singular, e.g. "the Syrian," to suggest that the sculptural group is not about the individual crucified, who is indeed dead, but rather should be seen as representatives of the Syrians who rebelled but are still alive, the ones we call refugees.

The title of the work.” Who is the Samaritan "connects to the parable of the Good Samaritan from the New Testament. Mercy and humanity is a fundamental concept in Western civilization.

                                                                                                                   - Jens Galschiøt