Barbara Wilson and Rolf Alme present their conceptual work title: “The Total Solution” exploring the religions as tools for domination and oppression. Under this title we are in the process of producing a number of different artworks for our next exhibition.
RELIGION AND DOMINATION
Both Christianity and Islam base their power and influence over people on the myths of Paradise and Hell. These myths are ingenious instruments of power. Both religions tell us there are two very different “lives” that await us after death. Either we end up in an over-heated, sulfur-smelling torture-chamber until eternity or we end up in a sweet-smelling garden where we will meet beloved relatives and friends, lions and lambs sleeping under fig trees, and in best case and if you are a man, 72 virgins. Then Christianity and Islam present us for a long list of maxims and rules of life. Whether we follow the rules or not will determine if we end up in the torture-chamber or in the garden. The religions and their institutionalized representatives thereby sit with a key to our after-death existence. And as no one has ever returned from the after-life to confirm or deny the existence of the Paradise or Hell, the religious systems are entirely based on faith. The fear of going to Hell and the hope of going to Paradise have for centuries proved to be the most efficient and powerful instruments of domination. They have been and still are the most efficient power tools ever invented by mankind.
RELIGION AND SEX
Both Christianity and Islam have pointed out our sexuality to be the most dangerous enemy. The term “sin” is to a large extent about thoughts and actions having to do with our sexuality. The two religions want to limit our sexuality to the marriage and even there mainly for reproductive purposes. As the religious texts all are written by men the perspective of the man is of course dominant. The man is the subject and the woman becomes an object. Her erotic energy is a constant threat for the man’s salvation. That is why it is the woman’s duty to cover her body so that the man won’t be tempted to sinful thoughts or deeds. Natural processes of the body like menstruation become impure, and the parts of the female body that can awake erotic emotions among men like breasts or long hear must be hidden. The idea that the man should cover his body to avoid sinful thoughts by women doesn’t exist in the religious texts.
One can ask the question why our sexuality has ben criminalized by Christianity and Islam. Probably it is because our sexuality is the most powerful biological energy we have. Very few are thieves or murderers. When our biological determined sexuality has been defined as sin, – in that very moment we are all sinners and we have all sinned. No one except the child is innocent, but as the child is the product of our sexuality it is unfortunately also impure. We are all so to speak doomed to eternal torture in Hell. Fortunately the religions offer a ticket to Paradise.
RELIGION AND POLITICS
In the world of today religious fundamentalism is on the rise. ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Polish PiS-party, the Hungarian Fidez-party, and an increasing number of right-wing national movements in Europe and America hold religious fundamentalist attitudes. They regard Western civilization as the symbol of a secular modernization that is a threat to the traditional Islamic or Christian values. Although Christianity and Islam historically are enemies, the two major religions share fundamental extreme-right political ideas like anti-pluralism and anti-individualism. They are also deeply anti-democratic. They fight the same fight against science, feminism, homosexuality, abortion and liberal globalism.
Religious fundamentalists believe in the absolute authority of a sacred religious text or teachings of a particular religious leader, prophet, and/or god. The fundamentalists believe that their religion is beyond any form of criticism, and should therefore also be forced upon others. Logical explanations and scientific evidences have no place in these belief systems if they work against their religious views. For fundamentalists, religion dictates every sphere of their daily lives, and they also attempt to involve the entire society into their own belief system, often by the use of force. In this respect there is no difference between the teaching of the Catholic Church in Poland, the Islamic State, the Russian Orthodox Church, The Muslim Brotherhood or the Christian Right in the United States.
THE HOLY SPIRIT OF VIOLENCE
THREE ASPECTS OF DARKNESS
SURROUNDED BY SILENCE