FRI, 18 OCT 2019
Another Idol Has Displaced Me
FRI, 18 OCT 2019
An obscure, steampunk immersive installation by Olga Jusianec-Murphy seamed up along quotes from Stave 2 of A Christmas Carol.
Has consumerism displaced love? Where do the things you buy go? Left to die alone before we can become truly theirs and they truly ours, used long enough to become someone’s memory.
London produces. Like a tireless steam factory, it pumps out, burns and dumps goods as they become no longer adequate, out of fashion, ‘ungoods’. The fruits of urban skips and abandoned places are left there to die alone. Their memory obliterated, their dignity as objects stripped away. Once ‘goods’, now unhygienic, forgotten stuff. Mess, dirt. But still they live and wonder why we even made them only to throw them away so soon, before we could become theirs and they ours. Used long enough to become someone’s memory. Given space and vision, they gather to watch us, maybe talk to us, their former users. Lend them your ears, open your eyes, rethink stuff.
Literary reference: When the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge a meeting he had as a young man with his fiancee, Belle, she is in the process of breaking off their engagement. She says that “another idol has displaced me,” and elaborates, “a golden one.” As she notes a few lines later, “the master-passion, Gain, engrosses you.” This is the literal way of saying that gold is Scrooge’s idol. One could also consider the “golden idol” reference as a symbol or metaphor. It compares Scrooge’s devotion to making money to a religious devotee’s worship of a sacred statue or icon. The idol symbolises what Scrooge has set his primary affections on, namely money. Scrooge has allowed his love of money to overtake his heart, and that has changed him from the good man he once was.
“’It matters little,’ she said, softly.’ […] ‘What Idol has displaced you?’ he rejoined. ‘A golden one.”’
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