Welcome to “Golem,” the most complex & personal work I’ve done in years.
In Jewish mythology, a Golem is a man-shaped figure built from inanimate matter (clay, usually) & brought to life by magic (an idea so cool even Dungeons & Dragons adopted it into their universe). Once activated, a Golem is supposed to be an unstoppable protector of the downtrodden.
Sheltered in an ancient temple, my Golem is titanic, elaborate & strange. Its hands are Wreck-It-Ralph clubs, capable of smashing or shielding anything. Its head is small, its eyes mere depressions in the face; its physique is at once powerful and gentle—maternal—with large hips & round shapes.
The people who come streaming in from the darkness are dirty & desperate—they are migrants, refugees, victims of oppression & poverty. These survivors grieve, pray, or celebrate at the feet of the giant. They cleanse themselves in a shimmering pool of silver water. Then – clean & hopeful – they proceed toward the doorway on the right... but not before inscribing their personal prayers & wishes on white paper, which is then transported up, up, up, to be deposited in the mouth of the Golem, in order to bring it to life.
Except the Golem isn’t moving. Its mouth is overflowing with prayers; its eyes remain dark.
And here we come to my real meaning with this piece.
We all dream of some large, unstoppable force of good that will smash evil wherever it hides & help usher in the promised world of peace & justice. At every point in human history, people have imagined a singular, righteous force whose sole purpose is to Set Things Right. In short, we all want a hero.
But there is no such force. There never was, never has been, & never will be.
And yet, just the idea of this force of justice – the everlasting promise of the Golem – brings out the strength in people. Hope is what keeps us going; hope is what gives us the strength to carry on. The citizens of “Golem” believe, and that belief has transformed them into an army.
The Golem cannot save us. Only we can do that.
Dimensions: 19.25"w x 29.5"h