A - THEOS

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Museum · Wilhelm-Morgner-Haus · Soest 
24. September -  6. November 2006 
The organisers are the Kunstverein Kreis Soest e.V. and the city of Soest 

"I push open the window and point outside. I have no doctrine, I carry on a dialogue." Martin Buber's words convey artist Gaby Ludwig's intention clearly. The purpose of her installation is to spark a dialogue. As an artist, Gaby Ludwig can approach the immense and inexhaustable topic of religion and religions in an unbiased and detached manner, and introduce her own interpretations, intuitive thoughts and personal experiences. She can be selective both in choice and content. She can overcome barriers and push open one of the "windows of this world". Gaby Ludwig does this with considerable tact, careful not to challenge the taboos surrounding the religions. With artistic and aesthetic force, she addresses the meditative depth of each religion, the yearning in individuals to discover God and, at the same time, their own identity. She's not looking for the one "true" religion or philosophy of life, she's looking for the spiritual path that unites all religions, despite their differences. Just like the philosopher Michel Focault, the artist wants no part in the intense "exclusion methods" employed by religions. She presents religion and reli-gions as a holistic experience which reaches out and touches all the senses.  You too should try to push that window wide open on your way around the exhibition! 

Inga Schubert-Hartmann 
Soest Art Association

In the beginning was the room

... and the view of the old Roman cathedral, the St. Patrokli Dom, which inspired Gaby Ludwig to create an installation on the religions of the world. Moving beyond any exegesis, the artist lets her experiences and intuitive thoughts on religion flow through her hands into installations, paintings, rooms, sounds and colours, knowing all the while that she is laying herself bare to the appraisal of critics and critical thinkers.  Two basic principles stand face-to-face - "God is" and "God is not". Gaby Ludwig decided to sound these out.  Seven world religions and philosophies are juxtaposed: Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, Atheism and Nature Worship. East faces West, monotheism faces pantheism and atheism - and yet all flow into one, merging in the Room of Senses. 

Gaby Ludwig provides us access to her own, very personal gateway to the religions of the world. Using the senses, the artist tries to guide us to the ultimate truth that all religions herald. We feel it - the heart of all religions is one.  Gaby Ludwig's unique method of using wax to seal the written word, subsequently shaping the result artistically, seems the ideal way to appraise the non-revealed and revealed religions, which are based on sacred texts considered to be the direct word of God. "In the beginning was the word", the sound, the thought; then came the script, the written word, the seal.   

Gaby Ludwig wants to inspire and reach out to visitors, so that they may try to understand and challenge what they know. She seeks to spark dialogue and wants to provoke not only a knowing smile, but also a shake of the head.

Gaby Ludwig at the wailing wall · June 2006

At the beginning, the artist asks about the end of existence. The end, the beginning and the naked truth is the title given to the buddhist installation, which addresses death and reincarnation. Four tablets dyed black with pigment have the four elements - earth, fire, water and air - carved into them. In front of the tablets, Gaby Ludwig has erected sheets of wax that rotate ceaselessly like prayer wheels. These have been inscribed with texts from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying which describe both the liberation of elements in the process of death and the re-entry into the womb. The black-stained tablets act as doors to death and represent the experience of dying. The monotonous sound of the revolving rotors and the relentless turning of the wax sheets symbolise the endless repetition of existence, but also the release experienced at the moment of death. Both are as much part of the buddhist philosophy as are life and afterlife, death and rebirth. 

"The experience is like heaven meeting earth. The outer experience can be compared to that of blackness, of a heaven thrown into the deepest darkness. The inner experience is that of a state of mind which is completely free of thought," says Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche on the process of death.

Photo: © Victor Dahmen

THE END, THE BEGINNING AND THE NAKED TRUTH
Buddhism · Wall installation · Height 160 x width 260 x depth 50 cm  Handmade paper, coal, wax, sisal, copper  · 4 canvas 60 x 120 cm, pigments, 4 motors  

Text written on the handmade paper:  The Bardo of Becoming If you succeed in directing the mind toward a human birth, you have come full circle. You are poised to be born again into the natural bardo of this life. When you see your father and mother in intercourse, your mind is ineluctably drawn in, and enters the womb. This signals the end of the bardo of becoming, as your mind rapidly reexperiences yet again the signs of the phases of dissolution and the dawning of the Ground Luminosity. Than the black experience of full attainment arises again, and at the same moment the connection to the new womb is made. So life begins, as it ends, with the Ground Luminosity. 


Jerusalem in June 2006 
Gaby Ludwig at the south-west end of the Western Wall in the “Archaeological Garden of David”.

How life and the universe began and who their creator was are central ques-tions on Christianity that Gaby Ludwig  addresses.  Seven wax sheets representing the seven days of creation in the Bible hang - connected together - from the ceiling. After writing the story of creation from Genesis on the sheets, Gaby Ludwig subsequently dipped them in wax. The geometric shape is intended to emulate the atomic nucleus and thus, too, the  original form that matter took: Big Bang. 

Knowledge and faith meet each other, biblical traditions and scientific findings join together, both exist and, here, both become reality. Christianity and Judaism are visually juxtaposed to highlight the fact that one religion originated from the other. For her installation on Judaism - entitled Axiom - Gaby Ludwig trav-elled specially to Jerusalem. With great care and attention, the artist took frottages of the Western Wall on sheets of handmade paper. Upon returning to her atelier, Gaby Ludwig inscribed the backs of the frottages with the words of the Ten Commandments, sealing them subsequently with wax. During this meditative process in Jerusalem, Ludwig was intensely aware of the historical Temple Mountain in Jerusalem has been a sacred site for thousands of years. It is there that Solomon erected the Temple to receive the Ark of the Covenant which was to house the Ten Commandents, given to Moses by Yahweh as a sign of his bond to his people. In the Middle Ages, Temple Mountain was considered the "navel" of the world and, to this day, Jerusalem is still the place of worship and sanctuary for the three monotheistic  religions. 

Both the Ark and the Temple are lost to the Jewry. Both have been reunited by the artist.  As a sign of hope perhaps? importance of where she was. 

Photo: © Victor Dahmen

AXIOM 
Judaism · Wall installation · Height 160 x width 700 x depth 30 cm · Hangs freely  Handmade paper with an original frottage of the Western Wall, coal, wax, sisal, wood Text on 10 tablets: Pentateuch and Haftaroth  The Ten Commandments: 1 And God spoke all these words, saying:  2 I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. 3 Thou shalt not make. Et seq.


Photo: © Victor Dahmen

Big Bang  
Christianity · Room installation · Height 300 x width 500 x depth 200 cm, variable dimensions, hangs freely Handmade paper, tusche, wax, sisal, copper 

Text from: Genesis, Old Testament, First Book of Moses, King James Version of the Bible 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Et seq.

Insight and wisdom form the core of Gaby Ludwig's installation TA on Sufism, the mystic school of Islam based on the belief that it is the inner "secret" doctrine  within every religion. The true meaning of the Arabic letter "ta" is secret knowledge.   

The visitor must cross an expanse of gravel to view the interior of the installation, which is based on the mystic light from sura 24 verse 36 of the Koran following "The Revelation of the Veiled" and texts by the great Sufi masters. Thin blue and white curtains hang from the ceiling like a veil, flowing to the floor in the form of a circle. Gaby Ludwig wrote the light verse from the Koran in white paint onto the material banners. It is an allegory for enlightenment. For the Sufi, gnosis is experienced through the body. The artist therefore invites the visitor to step into the circle and, with eyes raised upwards, experience light for themselves.

Photo: © Victor Dahmen

Ta 
Islam · Sufism  "Walk-in" room installation · Cone: Height 470 x diameter 100 cm, gravel (ø300) cm  Different materials, paint, light, copper, gravel    
Text on material includes:  1. God is the light of the heavens and the earth. His light may be compared to a niche that enshrines a lamp, the lamp within a crystal of star-like brilliance. It is lit from a blessed olive tree neither eastern nor western. Its very oil would almost shine forth, though no fire touched it. Light upon light; God guides to His light whom He will. God speaks in parables to mankind. God has knowledge of all things.     The Koran, Sura 24 Verse 36, Translated by N. J. Dawood, Penguin Classics, 1956 (2003 reprint) 

3.1 How can one who hasn't found the giver of being ever become a giver of being himself? (Jami) 3.2         But when you reach the sea, stop talking of the stream. (Hakim Sanai, The Walled Garden of Truth)  
3.3 He is enlightened whose speech and behavior accord, who repudiates the ordinary connections of the world. (Dhu´I-Nun, the Egyptian)  
3.4 In the sea there are countless gains, but if thou desirest safety, it will be on the shore. (Saadi, The Rose Garden) 

(All articles 3.1 - 3.5 quoted from: Idries Shah, die Sufis, Derichs, 2002) 

Tao Te Ching, the Book of Wisdom, by Lao Tse - whose teachings date back to 7 BC - inspired Gaby Ludwig's taoist installation WU WEI. She transcribed all 81 verses onto wax paper, hanging these subsequently from the ceiling. The "walk-in" transparent installation contains a water container into which single drops of water drip regularly.  

"Who stills the water that the mud may settle, Who seeks to stop that he may travel on?"  

Gaby Ludwig visualised this idea. She challenges the visitor to shut the doors to perception and open the gateway to the inner truth. WU WEI means to turn doing into non-doing, although non-doing is not to be interpreted as inertia, but rather as a means of obtaining the state of perfect equilibrium. Enlightenment is achieved not by looking with the outer senses, but by seeing with the inner eye, because it is there that true being is concealed. 

Photo: © Victor Dahmen

Wu Wei 
Taoism · "Walk-in" room installation Height 470 x diameter 300 cm  Material, handmade paper, coal, wax, sisal, tyres, container with water, light, dripper 

Text on wax sheets:  
81 verses from Tao Te Ching, Lao Tse  
Verse 1: The Way 
The Way that can be experienced is not true; 
The world that can be constructed is not true. 
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen; 
The world represents all that exists and may exist. 
To experience without intention is to sense the world; 
To experience with intention is to anticipate the world. 
These two experiences are indistinguishable; 
Their construction differs but their effect is the same. 
Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way, 
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world. 

BIG IN SMALL AND VICE VERSA
is a wall installation with 20 square panels in different colours. The colour scale ranges from purple to bright yellow, with the colours getting lighter towards the middle. In front of the panels, the artist has placed ten contain-ers with germinable seeds. Each container - made of handmade paper and dipped in wax - has a mantra written on it. Each seed contains everything it needs; higher laws of nature and an intangible principle of creation resides within each one. Mantras - sacred words - are mystic syllables that are divinity itself in the form of sounds.The individual panels reflect the diversity of the Indian gods, yet the harmony of colours, which get lighter and brighter towards the centre, conveys that all gods are mere manifestations of the highest God of all -  Brahma 

Photo: © Victor Dahmen

BIG IN SMALL AND VICE VERSA 
Hinduism · Wall installation · Height 200 x width 570 x depth 100 cm  Linen, pigments, handmade paper, coal, wax, germinable seeds, wood 

Text: 10 mantras  The Mantra for the Sun  

Oh god I (we) meditate on your divine light.  Bestow thy blessings on us so that my (our)  intellect may be enlightened, so that I (we)  may rise higher and higher to the highest  Conciousness. Enable me (us) to meditate  Be successful in all affairs of life and realise God (truth).

God is not, the position held by atheists, is projected as a letterpress onto the wall like a thought or an idea. Gaby Ludwig lets the script speak for itself, as writing is the expression of human reason.  

The worldview that God and gods do not exist has prevailed since the beginning of intellectual history; the explanation being that they are not apparent through reason. But also Eastern wisdom teachings, such as Buddhism and Taoism, have no God in the form of a person.  

Foto: © Jürgen Kisters

GOD IS NOT   
No title 
Atheism Projector installation · Height 200 x width 600 cm  
Letterpress, 2 overhead projectors  

At the end, things have gone full circle. For her installation on nature worship - 1.92 SQUARE METRES OF ETERNAL HUNTING GROUND AND THE SKY LOOM - Gaby Ludwig has sown wild meadow flowers in large plant boxes and visitors are treated to the sound of chirping crickets. The watering can has two purposes - on the one hand, it is a necessary utensil, as it holds the water that keeps the plants alive; on the other hand, it is a metaphor for the sky loom, the song by the Pueblo Indians that describes the Indian's reverance for the earth as the mother and the sky as the father, and their deep bond with everything living. The supernatural penetrates the natural. The origins of any human religiousness can be found in the ensouling of nature. 

The visitor can now either begin the circuit all over again - symbolic of the eternal return of existence - or step into the Room of Senses. 

1.92 SQUARE METRES OF ETERNAL HUNTING GROUND AND THE SKY LOOM 
Philosophy of Nature Worship   

Room installation 
Height approx. 100 x length 480 x width 40 cm  
2 containers with plants, watering can, CD player, amplifier, speakers, cricket chirping 

The tour around the religions of the world ends in the ROOM OF SENSES, consisting of an anteroom with a video installation, a book corner, and a white salt room. The room encourages meditative thought, intellectual debate, and contemplation. 

Gaby Ludwig's video installation THAN SADET  discloses her own private paradise on a deserted beach in Thailand. The rhythmic sound of the waves, the view out to sea, a blurred horizon where heaven and earth meet. The rise and fall of the ocean is like the  breathing of the planet. Inner peace and infin-ite calm wash over the visitor. 

ROOM OF SENSES  2 armchairs, table, set of shelves with literature used in installation Books, notebook and pen 

Video folgt .... 
Than Sadet 
Video installation 
Projector, DVD player, 4 loudspeakers 

SALT ROOM  
Room installation · Length approx 400 x width 250 cm 
White crushed tulle, aquarium with saltwater, ladel,  
drinking cup, wastepaper basket, salt crystals


In the last room - the saltroom - the artist poses the question that every religion asks first: How was the universe created? 

"The creation of the world is the highest form of divinity," wrote Mircea Eliad. The fact that the world exists is proof enough of divinity. All life comes from water. It is there that the origin of all being can be found. This begs the questions as to what is matter, what is life?  

Modern natural science is coming to recognise more and more that matter is pure energy, pure oscillation - in other words, light - and that this form of life comes from a higher order that is perfect. Science, the mystic of all times, and religions find each other in this statement. Once we recognise that all life is divine, the question of the creator becomes one of secondary importance.  

Is this the conclusion that Gaby Ludwig would like us to reach? She uses the five aggregates of self: form, feelings, percep-tions, mental formations and consciousness. These correspond both to the structure of the human psyche and the evolution pattern of the world. If we are able to move beyond this, we can perceive the real truth: A---THEOS ??? 

Frances de Schrevel MA, Art Historian

AXIOM · Multiple  

Judentum · Multiple zur Raum-Wandinstallation AXIOM  
entstanden anlässlich der Ausstellung im Museum Wilhelm Morgner Haus, Soest 
Auflage: 10 x 10 Stück + 2 e.a. 
Davon werden maximal 5 Serien geteilt und als Einzel-Objekte verkauft.  
5 Serien werden nur 10-teilig verkauft 

Je Objektrahmen ca. 25 x 25 cm
innen liegt ein Stück original Frottage von der Klagemauer,
auf diesem steht eins der 10 Gebote, teilweise abgekürzt wie folgt
Format der innen liegenden Arbeit ca. 8 x 10 cm
Material: Handgeschöpfte Bütten, Kohle, Wachs 

Texte aus: Pentateuch und Haftaroth
(Hebräischer Text und deutsche Übersetzung von Dr. Joseph Herman Hertz, S. 71 

Noch Einzelne oder als gesamte Serie erhältlich.