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Ghost Looking For Its Spirit

(project in progress)


GHOST LOOKING FOR ITS SPIRIT

“Ghost Looking for its Spirit” takes its title from K. Marx’s essay “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte”. Comparing French revolutions of 1789 and 1848, he writes: “awakening of the dead in those revolutions served the purpose of glorifying the new struggles of finding once more the spirit of revolution, not of making its ghost walk about again.” Through a personal narrative of an immigrant, “Ghost Looking for its Spirit” parses failures and aspirations of communism against the backdrop of American landscape.

The opening shot portrays a worker in blue overalls standing under the monument to Karl Marx. It then cuts to the same character pushing a giant steel wool beard through a small town. As the worker passes ubiquitous Walmart and McDonald’s, the narrator recalls growing up in Soviet Union, and appeals to Marx for answers as to why it failed. The video ends with lingering unanswered questions, as the worker sets the giant steel wool beard aflame.


Research & documentation

Karl Marx monument in Chemnitz, Germany

Karl Marx monument in Chemnitz, Germany

Sculptor Lev Kerbel at work

Sculptor Lev Kerbel at work

DDR era postage stamp with Chemnitz as Karl-Marx -Stadt

DDR era postage stamp with Chemnitz as Karl-Marx -Stadt

Studio work in progress

Studio work in progress

Underlying structure of the sculpture 'Crowd-Pleaser'

Underlying structure of the sculpture 'Crowd-Pleaser'

Detail of the steel wool sculpture ‘Crowd-Pleaser’

Detail of the steel wool sculpture ‘Crowd-Pleaser’


Video stills