• Ayesha Dhall

Ghiora Aharoni's exploration of interfaith co-existence

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

Today is the last day of the India Art Fair 2020 being held in my city. I found Ghiora Aharoni's assemblage sculptures particularly thought provoking. The artist a graduate of Yale University is based out of New York. He was an artist-in-residence at the Art Fair this year.

His sculpture contained many different types of beakers, pipes, lights with religious icons such as Hindu Flywhisk ('chawar' in hindi used to dispel negative aura) and Torah Finials. The artist has tried to explore the intertwined relationship between science and religion. The beakers contain text from Genesis from the Hebrew bible to signify the religious account of creation of the world. As stated in the essays explaining the sculpture, science articulated the wonders of creation, therefore are not in conflict any more.

In the series displayed at the Art Fair, the artist has added to the Genesis text the words "Make Me A Temple" in Hindru (a fusion of Hindi and Urdu created by Ghiora Aharoni) and in Hebrabic (from Hebrew and Arabic). In the artists words, these texts signify intercultural co-existence. I was intrigued by the phrase the artist had picked, I wondered if this was a reference to the Ram Temple to be built in India. Mr Aharoni explained that the phrase is from the Hebrew Bible, the full sentence being "Make me a temple, so I will dwell inside you." This phrase is encouraging people to allow spiritual energy to grow inside them. He has placed the religious icons beside each other, he wants to depict the interconnectedness of the spiritual energy between various religions.

Images of the sculptures on Ghiora Aharoni's website:

Video with the author explaining the philosophy:

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