Chapter 7 of the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM: Introduction

Martina Lüdicke

The golem figure is frequently associated with the many-faceted motif of the doppelgänger: the golem as a simplified image of a human being, as an alter ego that gives form to hidden longings.

Jacob Grimm’s retelling of the golem legend in the Zeitschrift für Einsiedler in 1908 introduced the authors of German Romanticism to the golem. The Romantic authors used doppelgängers, human-like dolls, and automata to address the spiritual abysses and desires that stood in opposition to the disenchanted world of rationality.

Encounters with the doppelgänger forced human beings to confront the uncanny sides of their psyche. These literary, artistic metaphors were further developed in the concepts of psychoanalysis. Artists and authors combined their presentations of the golem with the notion of the doppelgänger, in order to paint an enigmatic, ambiguous picture of creator and creation. The self-portrait has remained a popular genre for portraying a doppelgänger.

Citation recommendation:

Martina Lüdicke (2016), Doppelgänger. Chapter 7 of the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM: Introduction.

Golem as action figure (detail)

Online Edition of the GOLEM Catalog: Table of Contents

The Golem in Berlin: Introduction by Peter Schäfer
Chapter 1
The Golem Lives On: Introduction by Martina Lüdicke
My Light is Your Life: Text by Anna Dorothea Ludewig
Avatars: Text by Louisa Hall
The Secret of the Cyborgs: Text by Caspar Battegay
Chapter 2
Jewish Mysticism: Introduction by Emily D. Bilski
Golem Magic: Text by Martina Lüdicke
Golem, Language, Dada: Text by Emily D. Bilski
Chapter 3
Transformation: Introduction by Emily D. Bilski
Jana Sterbak’s Golem: Objects as Sensations: Text by Rita Kersting
Crisálidas (Chrysalises): Text by Jorge Gil
Rituals: Text by Christopher Lyon
A Golem that Ended Well: Text by Emily D. Bilski
On the Golem: Text by David Musgrave
Louise Fishman’s Paint Golem: Text by Emily D. Bilski
Chapter 4
Legendary Prague: Introduction by Martina Lüdicke
Golem Variations: Text by Peter Schäfer
Rabbi Loew’s Well-Deserved Bath: Text by Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington
Chapter 5
Horror and Magic: Introduction by Martina Lüdicke
Golem and a Little Girl: Text by Helene Wecker
The Golem with a Group of Children Dancing: Text by Karin Harrasser
Bringing the Film Set To Life: Text by Anna-Carolin Augustin
Golem and Mirjam: Text by Cathy S. Gelbin
Chapter 6
Out of Control: Introduction by Emily D. Bilski
Golem—Man Awakened with Glowing Hammer: Text by Arno Pařík
Dangerous Symbols: Text by Charlotta Kotik
Be Careful What You Wish For: Text by Marc Estrin
Chapter 7
Current page: Doppelgänger: Introduction by Martina Lüdicke
From the Golem-Talmud: Text by Joshua Cohen
Kitaj’s Art Golem: Text by Tracy Bartley
The Golem as Techno-Imagination?: Text by Cosima Wagner
See also
GOLEM: 2016, online edition with selected texts of the exhibition catalog
GOLEM: 2016, complete printed edition of the exhibition catalog, in German
Golem. From Mysticism to Minecraft: Online Feature, 2016
GOLEM: Exhibition, 23 Sep 2016 to 29 Jan 2017

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