Jack Johns

Bachelor of Creative Arts, Bendigo

My studio practice focuses on developing dark narratives and worlds through character designs, utilizing traditional and contemporary mediums portraying fictionalized characters and landscapes. I am drawn to the aesthetics and principles of German expressionism and the macabre, as they express qualities that capture the innermost feelings conveyed by human emotion.

Golem is an installation that interprets the Jewish folklore tale, The Golem of Prague through animation, projection and mixed media works. My attention for this project has been drawn to the figure of the Golem and his relationship with his father Rabbi Loew ben Bezalel.  My imagery refers to the religious persecution of the Bohemian Jews of Prague during the 16th century having held allegations of child sacrifices placed against them, causing hate-filled mobs to carry out massacres against the Jewish population of Prague.

The Golem has been portrayed through media as a monster, protector and instrument manipulated through command and ritual, being compelled to save a community from slaughter without regard to his own mortality. The figure of the Golem is fragile materially and psychologically. In this installation, I investigate the notion of the imperfect being in the eyes of man and God longing for genuine connection in a world filled with hate and flame.

This artwork combines broken fragments of clay and animation to express the vulnerability of the monster and reinterprets the relationship between creation and creator through animation inspired by German expressionist cinema.


Image gallery