rolph hediger: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
4 February - 12 June 2022
Rolph Hediger’s For Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven is an ongoing project that started at the beginning of 2021. It is a collection of interviews and portraits of various people from all walks of life, including doctors, artists, the mentally ill, the homeless, priests, people suffering from addiction, the sick, the disabled, immigrants, the elderly, and survivors of child abuse.
This project started with the artist’s interest in storytelling and the characters of everyday life. While each interview is unique, surprising, tragic, and triumphant, similar themes of loss, human relationships, hope, and achievement feature in every story. Upon realizing this, the project quickly changed its focus to the similarities, rather than the contrasts, between people.
In this iteration of the project, the portraits, painted with ink and coffee, all blend in together. Many of the unique features of the individual disappear. The paintings are all housed in irregularly shaped frames that are related only by the white spray paint. The interviews have all been cut up, distorted, and collaged forming a dense mass of sound that at times is hardly more than a texture.
The title comes from a collection of blessings, known as the Beatitudes, attributed to Jesus Christ. There is no morality or deeper message to them. They are only a vague promise of future peace after suffering. Similarly, this project is not much more than it seems, and it is not an exhortation to act in a certain way to certain people. It only aims to highlight commonalities that might not be evident at first.
Images (left to right):
Rolph Hediger, 'So They Could Go and Take Revenge', 2021, ink and coffee on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
Rolph Hediger, 'You've Got Her Smile', 2021, ink and coffee on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
Rolph Hediger, 'Great Shit Stirrer That I Am', 2021, ink and coffee on paper. Courtesy of the artist.