Gunilla Sköld Feiler

One God, video installation, 2008

One God was commissioned for the international exhibition Obscurum per Obscurius, 2008, at Talinn Art Hall, Estland. The same year it was exhibited at Vesheket al peney tehom, (D.O.G) at the Artist´s House, Tel Aviv, Israel.

One God was a videoinstallation for "peeping in" through samll windows in white houses arrenged on the wall, with head phones beneath for listening to a round table discussion under a religious dinner, in a dark setting.

The installation "One God" focuses on two very different interpretations of the Old Testament and other holy Jewish books, while keeping in mind potential and actual conflicts caused by religion(s). One setting/reading is called "We will not be sheep!" and the other one "If we can show concern for a loaf of bread…"

 In the video, we follow two very different “Rabbinical Schools” quoting and explaining God’s intentions and meaning to a group of people around a dinner table. The setting is exactly the same, but the rhetoric is strikingly different.

Focusing on two very different interpretations of the same religion, and the consequences of these two very contradicting perspectives, leads us to two questions: If it is "One God" speaking, how can His voice/words “sound” so differently? How is it that the quotations referred to in the installation - that are strictly quoted from the Old Testament and other Jewish sacred sources - tell us such different “stories”.

The installation gives a picture of an extremely paradoxical God that seems more than confused, as if suffering from a split personality. And maybe it would be more appropriate to define God with the words: "and man created God in his image", rather than: "and God created man in His image ".

The installation focuses on the conflict and problems arising from the totalitarian pretensions/claims of religion as being "God’s own words", using an old Swedish saying: is it possible to take out "only the raisins from the cake"? In other words: is it possible to choose only what we like from God’s words, like we usually do in the marketplace?  And this leads to the conclusion that this kind of “free choice” from the biblical "smorgasbord" is the basis for many religious groups’ very problematic attitude towards democratically made decisions.

So consequently, in modern history we have seen several terrifying examples of actions from people who have been following their religious beliefs as if blindfolded. The murder of Israel’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin 1995 is such an example; a terrible outcome after a “Pulsa diNura” (the most severe death curse in Cabbalistic Judaism) proclaimed by settler rabbis, that was nourished by and directly referred to as “God’s own words and promises”. As if the commandment "Thou shalt not kill” was not in the holy book, or was unimportant.