Selected Texts From Our Catalog
GOLEM – selected texts from our exhibition catalog
Our major exhibition about the best-known figure in Jewish folklore, the golem, tells a story that has inspired generations of artists, filmmakers, and writers. The exhibition presents the golem, a man-made being endowed with superhuman powers, in its many forms: from its appearances in early Jewish mystical texts to its various manifestations in popular culture.
Central to the golem legend is the human desire to create, together with a range of themes including creativity, control, power, and salvation.
The exhibition demonstrates the thematic richness of the material, as is apparent from medieval manuscripts, many-layered narratives, and works of art from the last two hundred years. The golem symbolizes each era's dreaded dangers and hopes for redemption. The exhibition uses the golem figure to examine topics like creativity, creation, power, and redemption. Whether in painting, sculpture, object art, video, installation art, photography, or illustration, the golem is very much alive and, with it, the question of what it means to be human.
In this catalog, experts from a variety of disciplines describe their associations with the objects in the exhibition. The volume is completed with excerpts from literary texts that have shaped the image of this legendary figure.
The catalogue is published by the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld. Its print version is German only, but several texts can be read on our website.
- Introduction: The Golem in Berlin by Peter Schäfer
- Chapter 1: The Golem Lives On by Martina Lüdicke
- Chapter 2: Jewish Mysticism by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 3: Transformation by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 4: Legendary Prague by Martina Lüdicke
- Chapter 5: Horror and Magic by Martina Lüdicke
- Chapter 6: Out of Control by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 7: Doppelgänger by Martina Lüdicke