return to Outside Circle Collective - OCC ( an art collective ) home    community log    discussions    jomas    jowai    newsletters    login    

golem, golem.

  #

Yes, quite possibly the same character that inspired Tolkien's golem creature in The Lord of the Rings trilogy was the inspiration for a mulitimedia performance piece by the grrl group doo-cot.

In the sixteenth century Prague Ghetto, a "living man" was made from clay to protect the Jews from persecution. It was the Golem, the legend that has inspired doo-cot's new show....The Golem has become an abiding myth that has inhabited novels and films explicitly and implicitly. It continues to reverberate today, featuring in everything from computer games to academia.... The show features original film footage of Prague which will be mixed live during the performance by Rachael Field. Cutting edge technology and electronic imaging alongside a magic lantern and lots of puppets.  

Anyone interested in folklore, video, mixed media, performance art, Jewish legend, or puppetry should get out to see this beautiful collaboration.

Golem is being performed October 16th and 17th at the Green Room on Whitworth St West in Manchester's City Centre and then in London through November 2nd. Full schedule.



Announcements  Artists  Arts - Music  Arts - Performing  Cultures, Groups and Organizations  Education  History  Technology, Computers and Internet  
 
In order to post a message, you must be logged in
Login
message date / author
See the really bad 70's horror film of the same name, or the episode of the New Adventures of Johnny Quest titled, "The Golem."10/16/2003 6:23:12 PM
stargrazer
golem is an intriguing (and spooky) performance/ puppet/ history/ multimedia shmorgeshborg complete with a haunting live soundtrack (singing bowls, violin, acordian, harp, percussion and vocals). completely different from any live performance i've seen before.10/16/2003 8:42:15 PM
ben
please make it stop flashing. i'm having siesures.10/16/2003 8:43:51 PM
ben
Oh no! The British have stolen your Zs!10/16/2003 9:36:24 PM
name not provided
you mean Zeds, not Zs.10/17/2003 4:27:26 AM
ben
the golem was also the topic of one of my favorite X-files episodes!10/18/2003 12:21:55 PM
Ande
Gollum, from the LOTR trilogy, was a corrupted mutation of a wood-elf or hobbit-like creature whose spirit had been seized by the One Ring. Other than phonetically, I think the connection to the Golem is tenuous at best...sorry to nit-pick...Hey! Is that a nit?10/18/2003 1:52:26 PM
stargrazer
think yer wrong on that one peter... tolkien calls it golem for a reason, and he didn't make up that name, there was only one before his. they are described relative in a physical sense, both controlled by a force stronger than their own will, both tempted to do evil by that force... beyond the characteristic similarities, the historical and mythological refences, which tolkien was one to project on his characters, are too aligned to not be connected- just pickin'.10/18/2003 7:23:58 PM
ben
where's cali on this discussion?10/18/2003 7:24:39 PM
ben
I would agree with the golem assessment. As I've ever known them, it's been the stick and mud creature that does things because it's being told to -- so I think there's a connection.

But, regarding Zeds. I have to wonder... They would be the Englishs' Zeds, not mine. So, maybe they used to be your Zs?
10/19/2003 7:41:47 PM
name not provided
right-o!10/20/2003 1:30:31 PM
ben
Not to disagree...I do think Tolkienn has motivations for his characters. But the golem in jewish folklore as a protector/avenger and Gollum in the ring cycle as a pawn of the ring don't have the parallelism that I need to see a direct connection. Although Ben's analysis is very thoughtful.

If Tolkienn was basing his Gollum character on the Golem myth, it is in a very incomplete sense. I'll have to check my copy of the Silmarillion (which has exhaustive geneologies and glossaries) to see if the name "Gollum" is derived from an elvish word.

I do know that a phonetic connection has been made before, by the author Piers Anthony. The phonetic connection obviously exists.

Tolkienn is a scholarly writer, but the Middle Earth saga was not written as a scholarly exercise. There are numerous quasi-biblical ties that can be made (i.e. the fall of Numenor contrasted with the Apocalypse), but Tolkienn (who was a devout Christian) was not merely rewriting the bible. As a whole, the saga was created to entertain Tolkienn and his children.

The ring which controlled Gollum is inherently evil - it is the physical manifestation of a power so strong that it is corrupting to those that wield it. The Golem, however, was not inherently evil. Mindless, yes. Prone to carrying out its mission without regard for collateral damage, yes.

The other main difference that I see is that the Golem is inanimate. It requires "magic" or an outside force to be motivated. It is neither sentient nor capable of internal motivation. These characteristics diverge sharply from Tolkienn's Gollum creature, who has clear self-motivation even as the victim of manipulation.

10/22/2003 1:46:30 PM
stargrazer
Then there is the power issue. A Golem is a fearsome creation, where Gollum invokes more pity than fear.10/22/2003 1:51:04 PM
stargrazer
See Wagner's Ring Cycle, Lohengrin, the Beowulf saga, Arthurian legend and Norse mythology for more antecedents to LOTR.

Searching the web under "kabala" will get you oodles of info on jewish folklore and "secret" societies.

10/22/2003 1:53:46 PM
stargrazer
I don't mean to be like a terrier with this, but I have given it lots of thought, and I had one last thing to add. Then I'll shut up.

To me, the fundamental difference is that the Golem is/was a tool of vengeance and protection, whereas Gollum was a victim of his own weaknesses.

I concede the phonetic similarity, but I think that's a little like saying Johnny Cash and Darth Vader are connected because they both wear black. The connection CAN be made: both are driven by inner demons. Both are masters of their chosen field. Both are dead. Both exist (in some form) beyond the grave. In logic, this is called a "straw man" comparison (I think...my Logic and Reasoning class was a few years ago. Please check me on that term), and is considered invalid on its face.

Only Tolkienn knows if the connection runs deeper than similar names, but I would contend that if he DID base Gollum on the Golem, it was with an incomplete understanding of the Golem legend. Or even that he deliberately distanced the two creatures so as not to merely be derivative.

Please interpret this as an effort to further this dialogue. I have no wish to be argumentative. I think I've exhausted the brain cells devoted to this issue, too, so I will be nurturing them back to health with beer.

While I may not be "right," (we'll have to ask J.R.R. some day), I am not wrong.

10/28/2003 2:14:53 PM
stargrazer
In order to post a message, you must be logged in
Login