Between Memory and Destiny

“Your eyes saw my golem;
all the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
(Psalm 139 :16)

The Jewish legend of the Golem, a clay puppet that can be animated with cabbalistic powers, has been for a long time a starting point for many creative persons, from writers to film-makers, from philosophers to scientists. Many have turned it into a symbol of technology; others consider the Golem representative of modern thought in absolute, able to suit itself in different times and circumstances.
In 2001 Maria Korporal made the installation “The Eye of the Golem”, in which she defined the Golem as a symbol of modern imaginary. Now, thirteen years later, she takes up the theme again in her new video “Between Memory and Destiny”.
With the Golem, humankind tries to create a clone of itself and fill it with memory – our collective memory, which increases every instant and pretends to contain the whole human history. In the last decades digital memory has become overwhelming. Will this constant flux of in- and outgoing data influence our destiny? Can we manipulate the future with our memories? Humankind has the power to switch on and off its clones, like the Golem, cancelling the E on his body, which changes EMET, “truth”, into MET, “death” – or viceversa. When the machine is switched off, the flux of data stops, as happens in the video. And the dog in the last scene, playing with what remains of the monitor, reminds us of our real destiny: “Dust you are, and to dust you will return”.

title: Between Memory and Destiny
technique: Experimental video and animation
length: 4’29”
year: 2014
music: excerpt from “The Last Call” by Globoscuro (Emiliano Pietrini and Fabrizio Barsanti)
texts: excerpts from “The World History Project” – Wikibooks
starring: dogs and people of Berlin-Neukölln, Astrid Astra Indricane, Maria (Felix) Korporal
concept, camera, animation, effects and montage: Maria Korporal

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