Emily D. Bilski
The interpretation of the golem figure has continually changed in reaction to historical events. Golem stories emerged about, usually, a scholar who created a golem for a particular purpose: as a servant, a companion, or someone to rescue an endangered Jewish community. The golem legend became a powerful survival mythos for a Jewish minority that was subject to the whims of the rulers at any one time. In the twentieth century the golem appeared in many stories as a rescuer, based on the specific situation of the Jews and the dangers they were facing.
Although Jews historically have often been in need of protection, the stance toward the destructive force of the golem has remained ambivalent. This is reflected in the many stories in which the golem becomes a threat for its creator and ultimately runs amok. Once the power is unleashed, it can no longer be contained. This double-edged sword—golem as both protector and destroyer—became a fitting metaphor for many challenges with which modern society was and still is confronted.
Emily D. Bilski is an art historian, the main focus of her work is the interface between art, cultural history, and the modern Jewish experience as well as contemporary art. She works as a curator and counselor for museums in the United States, Europe, and Israel. Her books Berlin Metropolis: Jews and the New Culture: 1890-1918 (1999) and Jewish Women and Their Salons: The Power of Conversation (2005) were both awarded the National Jewish Book Award.
Emily D. Bilski (2016), Out of Control. Chapter 6 of the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM.
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Chapter 6 - Out of Control: Selected Texts (3)
The Golem in Berlin
by Peter Schäfer
The Golem Lives On
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Anna-Dorothea Ludewig, Louisa Hall and Caspar Battegay
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski and Martina Lüdicke
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski, Christopher Lyon, Rita Kersting, Jorge Gil and David Musgrave
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Peter Schäfer, and Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington
Horror and Magic
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Karin Harrasser, Cathy S. Gelbin, Helene Wecker and Anna Augustin
With Texts by Joshua Cohen, Tracy Bartley, Cosima Wagner
Golem Catalog Online
Selected texts from our catalog
Golem Catalog – Print Version
The full version of our catalog is available in German.
Exhibition catalogs, the JMB Journal, book series, and more
All About ...
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23 Sep 2016 to 29 Jan 2017