Void of White
by Cristina Gómez Barrio and Wolfgang Mayer
A slide-installation with a soundtrack, approx. 60min
Voice of the creature: Joey Arias
A sequel to Mary W. Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus
At the end of the novel, the creature which Dr. Frankenstein has created decides to kill itself. When it finds its creator dead aboard discoverer Robert Walton’s ship, the creature feels that it has now lost its central reason for living. It tells Walton that it plans to “…shall seek the most northern extremity of the globe; I shall collect my funeral pile, and consume to ashes this miserable frame,…”
The creature embarks on a journey to the planet’s northernmost point.
But the intended suicide never occurs.
The creature’s ability to survive the Arctic’s severe cold – a capacity which further highlights its essential monstrosity – condemns it to remain alive at the North Pole.
The North Pole – today:
Two centuries after this event, the creature continues to roam alone at the “Northen extremity of the Globe”. Hate, guilt and unending grief paralyze the creature’s inner and outer worlds. Its life is characterized by the utter absence of love.
The creature is surrounded by the blinding glare of the sunlight, the relentless cold, the incandescen whiteness of the snow and the knife-sharp Artic wind.
It deliriously stammers fragments of words, phrases and texts.
During the flight that followed its creation, the creature learned to read and write from a human family. Introduced to language by Volney’s Ruins of Empire, the creature later accidentally discovers three additional books which, together with Frankenstein’s Diary (the story of the creature’s own cretion), will become tremendously significant for the creature’s life. Alongside Plutarch’s Parallel Lives and Milton’s Paradise Lost, Goethe’s Werther makes the strongest impression upon it.
Frangments from these texts, which the creature once read and now desperately recalls, plus verbal responses to what it has seen, form the contents of the monologue which the creature now endlessly intones in the icy wilderness.
“… my spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell”.