Religious Fundamentalism-art is a crowd-puller in Denmark
 
 
1.       Introduction to the art project.
2.       The brightest and darkest religious quotes.
3.       Schools use project and dialogue tools for including dialgue about religion.
4.       See 4 days sculpture build-up in short time lapse-video.  
5.       Christian Democrats want to exhibit Fundamentalism-sculpture at EU parliament.
6.       Planning of International Exhibition Tour.
7.       About The Children of Abraham/Fundamentalism.

   
  
 To
 
Dear Art Lover 
 
Information about the sculpture 'Fundamentalism'
 
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During the last 6 years sculptor Jens Galschiot and more than 20 assistants have been creating the giant sculpture ‘Fundamentalism’. It is a part of the art project ‘The Children of Abraham’ which aims to create a dialogue about religious fundamentalism.
  
The sculpture is build of 8,000 Torahs, Bibles and Qurans - that is molded copper models the scriptures. It weighs 30 tons and consists of 3.5 meters tall letters which create the word ‘FUNDAMENTALISM’ placed in a Stonehenge-like circle.
  
28 screens recite 600 quotations from the Torah, the Bible and the Quran on the sculptures plinth. The quotations chosen are the 100 ‘brightest’ (i.e. humane, compassionate positions) from each book and the 100 ‘darkest’ (i.e. inhumane, cruel positions) from each book. Artist Jens Galschiot says:
 
“I have worked concentrated for 4 years creating this enormous sculpture installation. I have named it Fundamentalism. I want to use this piece of art to stage what I think is the essence of the three religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This sculpture is meant to be a platform on which to start a balanced dialogue between people, who attach to the three religions culturally and religiously.”
   
The religious quotations are shown in the exhibition country's local language. So far quote, fliers, quiz etc. can be found in  , English, Danish, French, Spanish, Dutch, PolishItalian and Arabic.. We are continuously adding new languages.
  
Dialogue tools. Apart from the exhibition of the sculpture, 10 minor Pillars of Scriptures-sculptures make room for satellite exhibitions and multi lingual dialogue tool like quiz on quotes, and online quote presentation, makes it possible to take part in the project and dialogue all over the world. So far schools all over the country use the project to discuss religion and religious prejudices.  
  
Bellow you will find a description of the project. Furthermore you can find a number of documents on our website fundamentalism.dk along with the quotations. Check it out - some of them are quite surprising. 
  
 
Best regards
Lasse Markus – Chief of communication - Secretariat of ’The Children of Abraham’
  
  
 
               
 
Fundamentalism skulpture at EU parliament 
 
The European Parliament: Bendt Bendtsen (MEP Christian Democrats) attended a debate meeting with Galschiøt at Silkeborg Bad. He told that he is working on a petition from 25 EU-parliamentarians from seven different countries, who will support an exhibition of the giant sculpture in front of the European Parliament.
 
At the same time the 10 Pillars of Scripture-sculptures will be exhibited inside the Parliament building. The exhibition is expected to be realised this summer!
 
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Fundamentalism on International Museum Tour
 
Museum tour: We are planning an international museum tour. Therefore we have made a special invitation for a number of specially selected foreign museums. Together with the director of Art Centre Silkeborg Bad, Iben From, we present the sculpture and the dialogue project along with practical details for exhibitions etc.
 
 
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If you wish to have the sculpture
 
If you wish to have the sculpture come to your city or country, you might want to urge your favorite museum to contact Galschiøt and make an arrangement to exhibit the project  :-)   (see address below)
 
 
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Successful inauguration
 
The sculpture was revealed on January 17, 2015 at Art Centre Silkeborg Bad in Denmark where it can be seen until April 19th this year. The vernissage was a huge success with a record number of people are visiting the exhibition. The bishop held the openinge speech and photographer Jens Schlosser has made an exciting time-lapse film (with English subtitles) where you can see 5 days work and the vernisage in just a few minuttes.
 
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What is this art and dialog project
‘The Children of Abraham’?
 
This is Galschiot’s biggest project so far. By using the enormous sculpture installation ”Fundamentalism”, he wants to launch a dialog process between the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
 
This dialogue includes the religions’ believers and practitioners, as well as those who only feel culturally attached to the religions or have prejudices about them.
 
The three religions are often called “the people of the book” as they all acknowledge Abraham as their joint forefather. So one could say that the disagreements between these religions are some kind of family disputes between “The children of Abraham”.
 
  
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The FUNDAMENTALISM sculpture
 
The finished sculpture is built of 8000 cobber books that are stacked to make 14 separate letters, forming the word “FUNDAMENTALISM”. The letters are placed on a circle shaped plinth which has a diameter of 9 meters. The grand size of the sculpture, (it is 4 meters high and made of 14 tons of cobber and steel) gives it a monumental appearance.
 
The sculptures’ letters are divided between the religions. 4 letters are made of copper Bibles, 4 of copper Qurans and 3 are made of Torahs. In respect of the religions’ Holy Scriptures, the books are modeled by hand in wax. They were never real Torahs, Bibles or Qurans.
  
On the outside of the circle 14 flat screens are mounted. Around the clock they display the ‘brightest’ quotations from the Torah, Bible and Quran. On the inside of the sculpture 14 flat screens display the religions’ ‘darkest’ quotations.
  
There is only one entrance to the interior of the installation: a small corridor in the plinth by the letter ‘F’. Above the entrance, a sign says 'Welcome'. One can only exit the installation through the same corridor, but by the way out a sign says 'NO EXIT'.
 
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Pillars of scriptures
 
As a teaser for the project, Galschiøt has created ’The Pillars of Scriptures’; 10 cobber sculptures, which are exhibited indoor and make basis for starting the dialogue elsewhere. The sculptures are one meter  broad and two meters high. They are very beautiful and have a kind of meditative appearance as they recite the quotations endlessly on the screens. These ‘Pillars of Scriptures’ are exhibited separately or as a part of larger exhibitions with the big Fundamentalism-sculpture.
  
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Dialogue, information and breaking down prejudices.

The sculpture is staging all three books - the Torah, Bible and Koran - contains so many beautiful and bright statements that one can build a very beautiful, harmonious and benevolent society on the basis of each individual book. But on the opposite hand, each of them (the Torah, the Bible and the Quran) contains so many inhuman and totalitarian statements that one can build a totalitarian society from each book.
 
The sculpture functions as a kind of educational project about religions. And it initiates a dialogue that can help to break down a lot of prejudices about each other.
 
The artist himself has experienced this degradation of prejudices in connection with his work on the sculpture. "I, myself, was very surprised at how hard Christianity is on the female sex. And how relatively gentle the Quran is toward women. I actually thought that it was the opposite" says Jens Galschiøt and continues "It is my impression that it is not the religious scriptures, something is wrong with. It is more of a question of who interprets the books and which position the individual human chooses: the ‘dark’ or the ‘bright’ side of their religion"
 
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Is this an anti-religious project?
 
About the reason for creating the sculpture installation Galschiøt explains: This project is not anti-religious. I think religion is basically humanity's attempt to understand the meaning of one’s life and existence. Religions are not fundamentally bad for humanity. All of the monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have, at times had positive societal impacts. Especially regarding compassion for the poor and other basic guidelines to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
 
But there are, as well, a large number of outdated and insensitive rules, which belong to a surpassed way of life and culture in an inhumane civilization. If one take every part of the religious writings literally and obey their every word, people and society alike risk ending up being insensitive, uncaring and callous.
 
For me, it is important to create a dialogue on the premises that the books are not essentially the culprits when wrong is done in their names. It is the fundamentalists who use the books without regard for the progress of civilization and without a tolerant, humane attitude towards other people. One can easily read and interpret the books in humane ways if one takes that standpoint. It is equally feasible to defend an inhuman interpretation of the same books. This is the essential point of the art project ‘The Children of Abraham’”.
 
 
     
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Links to Fundamentalism & The Children of Abraham 
  
See introduction-mail about the art- and dialogue project The Children of Abraham
 
Introduction movie about the sculpture and project. 16 minutes
 
Photos from putting up the sculpture at Art Centre Silkeborg Bad.
 
Concept about the sculpture project in different languages: Danish, English, French, Spanish, Dutch, PolishItalian and Arabic.
 
  
  
Contact to The Children of Abraham.
Chief of communication Lasse Markus 6618 4058/mobil 6170 3083
 
 
  
 
General information about Galschiøt
  
About Jens Galschiøt See Wikipedia:
Portrait of Jens Galschiøt (engelsk) CV (PDF) 
  
Galschiots Homepage: Galleri Galschiøt
 
Contact to Jens Galschiøt:
 
E-mail:
aidoh@aidoh.dk,
Internet: www.aidoh.dk
tel. +45 6618 4058,  mobil +45 4044 7058
Banevænget 22,
DK-5270 Odense 
Denmark
 
    
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
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This mail has been sent from the sculptor Jens Galschiøt's workshop.
Contact to the workshop:
Galleri Galschiøt
Banevænget 22
5270 Odense N
Denmark

portrait of Jens Galschiot 2012
Tlf : (+45) 6618 4058

Fax:(+45) 6618 4158
Overview over Galschiøt sculptures
Portrait of a sculptor Jens Galschiøt (PDF) 
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