The Preacher/ Prästen 1999

“The Preacher” Ilona is here leading her 18:th service. Right now she´s preaching from her pulpit.
Ilona is not Christian. She did it to challenge herself and others in Eslöv.



To challenge the Christmas tradition as a clergyman.

In autumn 1999 i decided to "be a clergyman" in a small town called Eslöv in south of Sweden. The occasion was a big artproject with the theme Christmas.(Eslövs Julsaga- en konsthändelse 99).

As a (protestantic) clergyman I held a service everyday for three weeks, outdoors on central streets and marketplaces. I wrote my own text for the service which otherwise was quite similar to a traditional protestantic service. I had made my own “service equipment” containing a mat, an altar, a pulpit, a cassock and speakers. This I carried out on a wagon everyday.

I´m not Christian myself and I hardly new anything about the Christian tradition. But during three months (before my “Preacher project”) I studied intensely the Christian tradition through reading, talking and participating.

The exhibition was curated by Jan Stene.
Other participating artists:
Christian Andersson, Jörgen Svensson, Johanna Billing, Anders Thorén,
Elin Wikström, Stig Sjölund, Lars Vilks.

To be a clergyman as a
non Christian artist.

I work with art to develop myself and to meet new challenges. I think it´s important that I as an artist don´t keep a line of retreat open. When the public don´t know if it should take me seriously something interesting happens with the communication. When it feels unsure to do what I do I develop.

Songs and prays (written by Ilona)
Preach (written by Ilona)

VIDEO documentation 7 min (26Mb).