Exploration of Emeth, Shalom, Gilgul Neshamot and Dibbukim
My first conscious exploration of the Jewish culture began after a conversation with the father of my teenage love Lydia, who asked about my family and after a while, he realized that my surname as well as my father's forename, grandparents, sisters names and so on, have Jewish roots. From my Goi or "Christian" family I got only controversial answers and even hostility to my questions on the subject, regardless of the Jewish roots of Christianity. So I concluded-either they do not know or disguise a secret about our origin and the aberrations of history. The topic of xenophobia or bigotry preoccupied me as a child before I knew how to call it. I always wondered why I am asked and judged by my origin and not by who I am and what I do. In my childhood in Germany, I was trivialized as a foreigner, in my native country as Nemac or Zidov, although I am neither of them. I realized that xenophobia and ignorance have many faces and all of them are miserable. So I left my family and fatherland and became stateless. Therefore I decided to find out who I am, regardless of whom I come from and what lies I grew up with. I am certainly a human, Goi or not Goi. On my travels, I met many who had no homeland, and that experiences like mine, are part of their everyday lives. This became a constant part of my artistic experience as an Urban Nomad. In exploring Jewish culture, I found a great source of parables to understand in which world I live in.
What is the truth? Who knows that for sure? A wave of knowledge and ignorance, conscious and unconscious lies, a guessing game, information from ancient and new tales, social media infotainment? The more I experience the more I believe I know. The truth can be contained in one word: Shalom!
This word puts it in a nutshell, health, welfare, security, peace and tranquillity. I think, If people do not have that and prevent others from attaining it, then something fundamental is wrong with them, regardless of their origin!
In Hebrew, the word gilgul means "cycle" or "wheel" and Neshamot is the plural for "souls". It is seen that souls "cycle" through "life" or "incarnations" and adhere to various human bodies over time.
I believe in this concept, it inspires my work and is consistent with my observations of nature. Nevertheless, I often ask myself, why and in what form do the tormentors of the fellow human beings return to this world?
According to popular belief, the dibbuk has no metaphorical meaning, but a concrete meaning. The evil spirit who travels to a living man clings to his soul, causes mental illness, speaks through his mouth, and represents a separate and alien person. For me it's a parable to understand people's absurd ideologies and fanatic behaviors. It is a part of a multi-faceted examination of the increasing sickness in parts of society.
I also believe that the earth is one of the places where the universe sends its unfinished creatures, including myself, for post-processing or improvement.
Thunderbolt - The Jewish Museum Berlin by architect Daniel Libeskind*.
The video "Thunderbolt" is about the Jewish Museum Berlin. It refers to the shape of the building in the form of a lightning bolt, the Void-as a central theme of the architecture of JMB by Daniel Libeskind about the absence of Jewish people in contemporary German society. Other elements of the work are related to the Jewish history, the present, the number '7' and the returning or reincarnation.The Hebrew word for reincarnation, "Gilgul", the word gilgul means "cycle" or "wheel" and neshamot is the plural for "souls, or "turning in a circle" meaning reincarnation. Therefore the movement in the video resembles a Möbius loop, a constantly changing recurrence.
The video Thunderbolt from 2009 pays homage to Daniel Libeskind, with the music of David "Didi" Fire.
* I first saw and heard Daniel Libeskind in December 2002 in New York. My friend Marc de Bourcy invited me to a presentation in the Wintergarden of the WTC. Years later I moved to Berlin and visited the Jewish Museum Berlin. I was inspired by the building and fortunately I shot pictures and videos with my mirror installations. On the pevious page you can see some selected works.
Extract from the Stigmart Videofocus 10 Magazine.
What inspired you to realise "Heil Gott"?
I was inspired to make this video during Pope Benedict XVI visit to Berlin on 22. September 2011. In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle martyred in Rome. According by definition the Pope is 'infallible'. Therefore I question the paradoxical behaviour of the Pope inter alia, his address to the Jewish Community, his speech at the 'Reichstag' and the ceremony of the Holy Mass at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, (Historical venue of the 1936 Olympic games under the patronage of Adolf Hitler.) Last but not least, his faith. The Holy Father seems to trust more in a heavily armoured Mercedes-Benz SUV and a bunch of MIB's (Men In Black) when it comes to his security than in his Lord. I find it highly questionable, to denote a man as infallible who acts in such a way. I am fallible. I will not throw the first stone. I just try to understand the contradiction between word and deed.
In the video "Memento I" I am exploring the transience of human existence, and in particular the violent death by murder. The Jewish Memorial in Berlin by the architect Peter Eisenman drew me in it's spell in an alarming way. The structure is not loaded with the overblown pathos of traditional memorial architecture, and thus the experience is even more terrifying and cryptic. The sound track is inspired by the lasting impression, which accompanied me during walk through the memorial's aisles, the pounding sound of my heart.
The video 'Memento' is based on the idea that one can change the perception of the rendered reality by considering the initial aggregate state of the same. Considering the Holocaust Monument in Berlin, imagine that the stelae are made of fluid concrete: water, aggregates, cement, chemical admixtures, construction steel. All of these ingredients were liquid at a given moment. Like the entropy of events which compressed from a high to a low aggregate state and shifted from a loose interconnection of possibilities to a rendered reality leading to the Holocaust and later to the establishment of the Holocaust Memorial.
I do not know the one or the other, but I assume that they were all just human beings at a given moment, before they became perpetrators and victims. At the sight of such a monument, I only know that I do not want to be either of them nor one of these infantile tourists who make cheering selfies at the site as if it were just another architectural structure on their sightseeing tour, ignoring the human tragedy that has led to such a construction.
The anamorphic video is a filmed reflection from a mirror installation, made without computer generated images.
The series „Memento“ is about memorials, initially inspired by the war in former Yugoslavia, the propaganda from all Interest Groups, active as well as passive participants and the song „Killing in the Name“ by „Rage Against the Machine“
60 Years Of Federal Republic of Germany
A portrait by the Bavarian Broadcaster BR 1, about my project Anamorphic BRD-60 Years of the Federal Republic of Germany in the anamorphic series I'm building a bridge between the past and the present through the stages of Berlin's Olympic Stadium, the Zeppelin Field in Nuremberg, Munich "Haus der Kunst", the Olympic Stadium Munich to the O2 Arena (now Mercedes Benz Arena) in Berlin. I wanted to understand what these mass event stages radiate. The Romans have already defined for what purpose arenas were built. Bread and games for the masses.
1. Berlin Olympic Stadium, the 1936 Olympic Games as a propaganda event, the stage for Adolf Hitler and his NSDAP.
2. Nürnberg, Zeppelin (Dibbukim) Field as a stage for the NSDAP rallys.
3. Munich, The Olympic Stadium in Munich that has been built on the slag heaps of the WW II., the Olympic Games of 1972 were held under the motto of democracy, this big event ended in a tragedy after the hostage taking of the Olympic Team of Israel through the PLO.
4. In 2011, the Olympic Stadium Berlin served Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church as a stage.
Up to the present, arenas are still used to sell ideas to the masses, whether “O2 Arena Berlin“(now Mercedes Benz Arena) „Easy Credit Arena“ at the Zeppelin Fields in Nuremberg or where ever they are.
Although the mass media, social media, portals such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and others are much more pervasive, it's strange to experience the delusion of the masses in a stadium... the video "Heil Gott" is an scrutiny of this madness.
I am inspired by observations of society and theories of post-Newtonian modern physics and classical and contemporary ideas of metaphysics. I question the technophile approach of 'Homo Faber' by morphing, deconstructing and dissolving the rigid structure of his creation,
I question the achievements of the Homo Faber from an anthropological, socio-cultural and spiritual perspective. The human animal builds its world with the help of tools and aligns its spirituality with it. With the distortion/equalization of its creation, I question the technophile approach of 'Homo Faber' and many of his atrocious creations.