The god is dead, long live ... {1924}

Maria Korporal

The deification of human beings is as old as the history of mankind. In worshipping dictators and kings people loose their critical sense and close their eyes to the crimes and atrocities committed on their leaders’ behalf. While the death of a deified person puts an end to his earthly existence, his followers elevate their beloved god to the realms of eternity. The beginning of the year 1924, from the end of January to the end of February, saw the death, rebirth and rise of three well known deified personalities. Lenin died on January 21 and his legendary funeral took place shortly after; on February 12 the granite lid of Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus was raised, revealing the king’s golden effigy; mid-February the young Mao Zedong arrived in Shanghai, the city saw him there in a crucial phase in his career: he was the organization secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and he became the Kuomintang executive. In “The god is dead, long live ...” these events are documented in three short movies, composed by the artist from images, sounds and footage she found in several Internet archives. In the video two onlookers alternately watch the pieces: an animal (represented by one of the orangutans in the Roman zoo) and a human (represented by the artist herself). What do they see? Do they experience the magic influence? Do they know the naked truth that lies behind the scenes they watch? And you, spectators in 2013, what about you?
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