All the rest is commentary refers to a story about Rabbi Hillel, a first century B.C.E sage, who was asked to teach the entire Torah while standing on one foot. He wisely responded, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the law; all the rest is commentary; go and learn it."
Nearly every world religion has a version of the Golden Rule as a fundamental principle. This ethic of reciprocity insists that each individual has a right to just treatment and a responsibility to ensure justice for others. How might our world change socially, politically and economically if we were to treat others as we would want to be treated? And what if others want to be treated differently than we desire for ourselves?
I invite you to the table to consider the universality of the Golden Rule. The table is a gathering place for meals, conversations, teachings and prayers of gratitude. This series of 12 table cloths is based on variations of the Golden Rule collected from twelve world religions: the Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American Spirituality, Shinto, Sikhism, Unitarianism and Yoruba African traditional religion. Each expression of the Golden Rule suggests a characteristic sense of the religion’s unique culture.
This series of table cloths typographically unifies these translated versions of the Golden Rule. In the artistic tradition of Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer, I play with how the eye and the mind perceive these authoritative messages. My artwork magnifies what is inherent in the phrases and searches for additional content and questions. Using text from diverse Golden Rules, I have created a dynamic visual poetry.
If you combine words and phrases from the different table cloths, the texts may reveal new commentary.