“Is God” (2011-2015) began as a street performance in Sydney where I walked up and down a crowded street for five days. The performance was concluded five years later in Kefalonia, Greece. In this version of "Is God", I invited local religious identities to a dinner which they could enjoy and with the freedom to discuss whatever they wanted, except they could not engage with me or the audience. In this performance I stood close to the table looking at them as they ate and conversed. On my back was a sign which reads - “Is God”.
A socio-psychological interpretation by Sophia Arabou-Papadatou:
First of all, it was a special performance, those that accompany you for hours
after their ending, leading you and causing you to think about whether it was
worth or not worth the time you spent. If you got something important or not.
This is not an easy and easy-to-understand procedure for conclusions. You
can overlook indifferently or think. If you think of what has been shown to
you, the skies of beauty and love open to you in front of this man and his
wife, who thought before you, but always for you. In order to show you little
as great things that happen every moment in your life, you go through them,
but they mark you indelibly.
If you choose to disregard and hurry to decide that "it was not really great",
okay, you will temporarily close your accounts with this show, but not forever,
it is certain. Such is the structure and evolution of the presentation, as we will
see later, which has not come to be forgotten. It leaves a tract for future
interpretations at the right time when everyone is ready when he needs to
get help from his memories.
The invitation reads that the Australian artist Peter William Toy has been
working on the art of video for years, beyond his studies in Fine Arts,
constant recognition and recognition in his country and worldwide. In
Kefalonia, he came to show us how everyday life prevents us from deeper       thinking, how it encapsulates us in a celestial rendering function. The entire
show was filmed and screened in Australia.
Representatives of TEI, Department of Digital Media and Communication, as
well as Professors of TEI, Vaso Leventakos and Sofia Aravos - Papadatou,
participated in the show with the mobilization and invitations on behalf of the
former. Hosted by Sofia Kagadi, tireless, smiling and restless, always willing
to talk to everyone in a sweet and meaningful speech.
The students were a pleasant surprise. Nowadays, as young people in
general have as main nighttime entertainment or the debate between cheese
and pear, nowadays translated into twigs or crockery, it was a promising
surprise. A promising prediction for their respective future contributions to
revitalizing art.
The performance included a regular dinner for four, with dinnerware, serving,
first and main course, good wine and dessert.
The rest of the people would walk upright, but would enjoy food and wine
from a buffet, and would always be in English with the crucial question "Is
God Dead?" As announced in the invitation.
The four co-workers sat around the table, two men and two women. The wife
of the artist, Professor Sophia Arabou, the student and priest Xenophobia
Zarkada, because of the subject, as well as the president of the students
Petros Papapostolou. In front of the four dishes except the glasses, there
were four curved olive branches with fruits. Towels, cutlery, all in perfect.
The serving of the appetizers began as a first dish, while the artist standing
and speechless walked around the four sitting tables on the table, too late
and in a style that looked like a conspiracy. He made slow circles around
them. The co-workers drank, ate, a first dish, mostly a plate, dessert .... and
they were always talking about various daily issues. The husband of the
artist was talking about her family, her children, cooking, life in Australia, her
profession as a galley, her studies, her husband's travels. The same was
done by the other three on the table, discussing issues of their everyday life,
their lives. The wine had solved the tongues, and though relatively
incoherent with each other, the time was running fast, while the rest of them
were watching to eat and drink, while at the same time they were sniffing at
the small buffet that had been proclaimed rich (intentionally?), while at the
same time talking to each other, and glaring around the dining room.
The silent artist in the meantime, wearing a cap deep down to his ears, cut
circles around them slowly, occasionally approaching the table and taking
the olive branches in front of the four dishes one by one. On his back was an
unfinished phrase "Is God ...". In about an hour, holding a meal with constant
dialogue among them, the silent and middle-aged artist found the opportunity
to approach each of the four at intervals and extract the olive branch. When
she took all four branches of olive, she moved slowly to the glass door of the
large hall and was lost. He did not come back, there was no talk, because,
as his wife had revealed tearfully, his dead mother died in Australia a few
hours ago and was unable to discuss.                                                               The event was left unfinished, leaving a taste of a deficit.
However, by interpreting sociopsychologically, the artist in his own way left
his mark indelible, in a simple and grandiose way admittedly, with a
magnificent conception.
With a personal interpretation, the olive branches are known as healthy
eating and the Mediterranean, as well as Peace and Doxa - the laurel wreath
of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece.
The silent and prominent, middle-aged artist showed us through the
theatrical scene of the meal he created, some important things. As we deal
with our everyday life, we eat, drink, have fun, cook, talk incessantly, we live
without thinking, some nagging people "steal" our diet, our land, the coveted
Irene, our thoughts and works that led us to glorious discrimination.
In a simple way, this is Art, talked to us about indifference and disgust or just
the lack of time of today's man, for deeper thinking, along with his everyday
life. He emphasized with the contrast of his silence, the uncanny chatter of
the superficial man.
The small buffet and the incomplete writing of the title on the back of "Is
God ..." refer to the sociopsychological interpretation of the imperfect work,
which convinces more and remains in memory.
His mother, with her death, made him the last great gift, the creation of an
indelible memory to those who attended and participated in his performance.
The discussion that has not been done and about which they have all been
prepared is a powerful sociopsychological tool of persuasion and memory.
The title "Is God Dead" was the cover of TIME magazine in 1966 and caused
many positive and negative reactions. Thousands of letters arrived in the
magazine from readers who protested most about this subversive and anti-
Christian phrase. Instead, some scientists, for the most part, have found an
opportunity to position themselves in favor of the rationalization of science
and against the metaphysical interpretations of religion, the creation of life.
This phrase comes from the affirmative form of Nietzsche's 19th century
"God is Dead". But then we specify that we daily kill God with our deeds.
When you are preparing for such a high-level debate, it is natural to be
disappointed with its cancellation, but ensuring the indelible memory around
the events.
Let us lead to the epilogue, in the conviction of Peter William Toy, that in Art
and Philosophy, questions from their answers are more important.
It is certain that as long as there is Art away from commercialization, and
artists who want to teach and illuminate the human soul, every question finds
its answer.
Performance was so important that it deserves to be repeated, with the
activation of imagination in performance and thematic.

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