Golem ( Shangrila group performance piece 2015)
clay and found objects
The most famous and enduring of all Jewish legends is that of the Golem, the artificial man. The roots of the legend are ancient: the Talmud claims that Adam himself—and thus, theologically speaking, all of humanity—was a golem until God breathed a soul into his nostrils.
We are told that the golem was made out of mud, or ash, or perhaps simply dirt. It is brought to life by the application of magical amulets, or by mystical incantations.
We do not have any real idea of what the golem looked like, or of his nature. Was he simply crude matter with the appearance of life? Or a living creature whose formative materials happened to be crude matter, as Adam was before the divine breath? In other words, was he something wholly other, or merely an incomplete human being? Perhaps he was both, or neither. (excerpt from Benjamin Kirstien's Interpretations of the Golem )
Over the course of this exhibition, we will construct our own golem. In addition to the materials I have provided for you, please include a found personal object. A rock you find on the floor, a handful of dirt, a receipt for the peanut M&M’s you bought at Chevron last night. These “amulets” will become the life source of the golem.