Visionary Architecture on Film: The Golem—How He Came into the World

Visionary Architecture on Film: The Golem—How He Came into the World

Thursday, April 13, 2023

6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Get Directions
Cinema has long built new worlds on screen, whether through ambitious architectural set design or, more recently, computer generated imagery (CGI). Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch, this series presents five films whose backdrops are themselves works of art. Each of them reveals the important role film has played as a site for architectural experimentation and a way of imagining the future.

Set in medieval Prague, The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920; 1 hour, 26 minutes) tells the story of the titular Jewish folkloric figure made of clay who comes to life to prevent the Jews’ expulsion from the city. The astonishing, quasi-Medieval sets for that city are the work of Expressionist architect Hans Poelzig and resonate closely with Paul Goesch’s drawings in the Clark’s exhibition.

Live musical accompaniment is provided by percussionist Matthew Gold and cellist Paul de Jong performing newly created music for this screening. Ever the collector, de Jong will bring a selection of some rarer specimens from his array of cello-like instruments—an arpeggione, a church bass, a viol—paired with pre-recorded materials from his sound archive and Matthew Gold's makeshift drum set made of spare parts, metal bowls, tuned wrenches, bells, and other found sounds played with beaters, bows, stones, and marbles.

Dutch-American cellist and composer Paul de Jong is probably most widely known as co-founder of beloved collage-pop eccentrics, the Books (1999-2011). After the band’s breakup, de Jong embarked on a wild ride of musical, literary and visual discovery which to date has resulted in two albums of new music on Temporary Residence Ltd., a self-released solo cello album SPIRAL (2020), worldwide solo performances, lectures, impromptu appearances, film scores, video installations, screen prints, collaborations with colleagues young and elderly, and the unlocking of his vast North Adams-based archive of fringe recorded and printed media aka the ‘Mall of Found’ to a succession of resident artists and researchers.

Matthew Gold is a percussionist, ensemble director, and educator committed to presenting innovative and adventurous programs featuring new voices. As the Talea Ensemble's percussionist and former Managing Director, and as a member of the New York-based percussion group Talujon, he performs across the U.S. and internationally. Mr. Gold is an Artist in Residence in Percussion and Contemporary Music Performance at Williams College where he directs the Williams Percussion Ensemble and New Music Williams, and is the Artistic Director of the annual I/O Festival of New Music. Mr. Gold has recently taken on a new position as the Director of Community Initiatives and the PATHWAYS Public Arts Program at PS21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century) in Chatham, NY.
This series is organized by Ella Comberg, MA ’24 in the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art.