Ghost and Golem Chapter II - Mr/Mrs K

Exhibited at Sabra Festival, Brazil x Israel: 

Museu Guido Viaro, Curitiba, Brazil. Curator: Marina Ramos

The Group exhibition Fronteiras Indigestas, Contemporão Project Space, São Paulo, Brazil. Curator: Yiftah Peled.

Photos: Guilherme Negrão.

 

The idea of a "golem" has biblical origins: Adam was an unshapen "golem" made of dust before he became a man. This concept comes from a Hebrew word, which means something incomplete or unfinished. In Jewish mysticism - Kabbalah - golem is a clay creature that is brought to life through magick, and the kabbalists saw this procedure as a kind of alchemical task, which is one of the most important and powerful processes in the materialistic world: creation itself. 

Dan Allon uses this word to name his performance series: Ghost and Golem. Ghost representing the echo of the dead, while Golem carries the potential for resurrection. The work presented for Sabra Festival in Guido Viaro Museum is the following chapter of the artist’s research. 

In the first chapter of Ghost and Golem, Allon played a guard/archivist/artist who kept Allon’s family stories embodied in drawings which were kept safe inside boxes. These images convey a mixture of real and fictional events about Allon's grandparents' lives, which took place in foreign lands. 

In this new chapter, Dan Allon came to Brazil willing to unroll his work based on two of his family members that ran away from the Holocaust to São Paulo: two of his mother’s uncles. The artist researched their lives in order to detect real information in the Jewish immigration archives and through remaining family members. A part of Allon’s process was to make up a character out of his imagination, based on what those uncles could have been. In this performance, he plays a combination of what it is really known and invented about these two figures, which the result is a queer artist living in the 60-70’s São Paulo, called Mr/Mrs. K. Ashamed to expose his identity to his family in Israel, Mr/Mrs. K sends drawings that portray his supposed “normal” life in Brazil. 

Reality and fiction are diffused in Allon’s work and that’s where the magick happens. Appropriating the myths of the Kabbalah, the artist creates his own golem as he brings him to life using his body and imagination. As creation is a very strong phenomenon, the artist grants life to his past and shapes it on his own terms.

 

Special thanks to:

Eduardo Cardoso Amato, Sabra Festival, Museu Guido Viaro, Tal Alperstein, Tal Rosen, Elaine Peled, Maira Vaz Valente

Special thanks to: 

Mariana Zanetti

Special thanks to the Jewish Museum of  São Paulo (Museu Judaico) and the team of the Centro de Memória do Museu Judaico (Pinheiros)