Monika Oechsler

There Is Only One Life

The video work There Is Only One Life explores our modern-day lives in the reflection of spiritual and philosophical ideas. The filmic exposé takes the contemporary re-enchantment with religious and mythical concepts as a starting point in order to illuminate the quest for meaning in consumer society beyond traditional doctrines. Comparable to popular psychology, alternative systems of belief also function as methods of individual self-improvement and are in demand in contemporary society.

The work highlights the current resurgence of the teaching of the kabbalah, a tradition of belief that has its origins in the early writings of Judaism. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, teachings of the kabbalah have spread through occult circles and New Age movements, and more recently become popularized through celebrity lifestyles.

There Is Only One Life is inspired by the graphic novel Promethea by Alan Moore, which combines scientific perspectives with the myths of the kabbalah. The filmic collage follows the four different incarnations of the novel’s protagonist, Promethea.The fragments of dialog are loosely based on the narrative Promethea, texts by the English poet William Blake, and song lyrics from the bands The Verve and Radiohead. The action is filmed in contemporary London location: the financial center Canary Wharf, the Angel tube station, and the historical Abney Park Cemetery.

There Is Only One Life, 2006

One-channel video, HDV, Pal, color, stereo, wide screen 16:9, 12:54 min.

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