• Issue
  • May 01, 2022

Inside Burger Collection: Vaginal's Veil

Details from VAGINAL DAVIS’s memorabilia and ephemera, dimensions variable, at “The Wicked Pavilion,” Eden Eden, Berlin, 2021-22. All photos by GRAYSC. All images courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, unless otherwise stated.

In the year 33 AD, on the Via Dolorosa to be exact, Veronica meets Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha. She offers him a cloth to wipe the blood off his face. Jesus returns the sudarium with the imprint of his face on it. Lo and behold, the blood-stained cloth becomes the Veil of Veronica, a cherished relic in the Christian Church that is said to represent the true face of Christ, not made by human hands. The first icon—an image to be copied ad infinitum, along with the Mandylion, the Veil of Manoppello, and so forth—is imbued with healing properties and even the power of resurrection. Veronica herself became a saint, naturally, although we do not know if that was her actual name, as it could also be argued “veronica” is a variation of the Latin vera and icon, meaning “true icon.” Say a prayer to Veronica this evening.