Monday, July 25, 2011

עגל הזהב

the golden calf (עגל הזהב ‘ēggel hazâhâḇ)
The gates of paradise, closed shut after consuming an innocent apple with a worm inside, constantly attract with the promise of fulfilment of the most secret of desires. The motif of passage to another, and hence a better world is demonstrated in most manifestations of human activity. The seemingly conscious choices invariably point to the silhouette of the golden calf, gleaming in the moonlight. Provoking the anger of a biblical god, the piece of the earthly here and now seems an idyll of a tropical island. The blue of the skies, the golden sand, and the white crests of the surf become a perfect backdrop on the wallpaper of desire. It is easy to fill it with the well-known and recognizable form: the sheen of a gadget of contemporaneity, the smooth skin of the promise of eternal youth, the vitality of stress-free satisfaction.
Reaching the gates of paradise on the back of the golden calf demands a stiff posture, full of affronted dignity and the conviction of one’s own rightness. Having shed gallons of sweat and tensed the muscle of certainty, there follows a bliss unmarred by the stab of the sores of a complex.
I will decorate the gates of my paradise as I see fit... and as far as the calf is concerned, I can even kiss its arse.
The realization is constructed on symbolic of the golden calf. The texts – descriptions of indispensable objects – fetishes taken from specialist magazines, formulated as a prayer to be read or listened to – a repeating mantra.
The calf, covered with golden flakes has a monitor installed in its behind – it can be seen through the hole. The film displayed in the bottom shows small people, unified like ants in an anthill, toiling away by a production line on successive products – just as in Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times. The confrontation of dreams with the everyday life distorts the image of the idyll. Somewhere there, behind the tacky golden facade, twisted in the effort of struggle for survival there stand its makers – the fundament of modern economy.

2009 - עגל הזהב, Center of Contemporary Art Łaznia, Gdansk (PL)

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