"Cold and silent, like a heart" 2022
42 sec film by Mieke Marple
Visual effects and art direction by Francisco García Nava
"Cold and silent, like a heart" is a feminist reinterpretation of Antonín Dvořák's symphonic poem: "The Water Goblin" (1896), based on a poem of the same name by Czech folklorist Karel Jaromír Erben from 1853. The poem is about a goblin who abducts a young maiden and forces her to bare his child. It ends with the girl reconnecting with her mother and refusing to return to her unhappy life with the goblin, which the goblin then punishes by murdering their child. In Marple's reimagining, told through animated images and select stanzas from Erben's poem (see below), the goblin is removed from the narrative. The focus becomes the girl's mental state and what now reads as her decision to end the life of her own child—a la a kind of abortion. The story is still a heavy one, but it at least depicts the young girl with her unwanted pregnancy as a person of agency rather than an agent-less victim. This piece continues Marple's interest in revisiting myths—particularly those in which sexual-abused women are demonized or depicted as impotent—and retelling them with greater empathy and empowerment for the female characters.
"Cold and silent, like a heart" was made for the House of Lobkowicz's Non Fungible Castle 2022. Non-Fungible Castle 2022 explores how blockchain technology can be used to rediscover, share, and preserve cultural identities. Select works in the exhibition will be sold at auction to support the Lobkowicz Collections’ charitable project: the reconstruction and renovation of Antonín Dvořák’s Birth House, which will be transformed into a new museum and international music destination with dedicated music education courses, workshops, concerts, and community enrichment programs. "Cold and silent, like a heart" will be sold in parts as three 14 second mp4 NFTs.
A series of 12 Cinemagraphs from the film will also be available as a collection on Tezos through NFTuesdayLA. 50% of sales will go to NFTuesdayLA—a weekly meet-up and pillar for the Los Angeles NFT arts community—as another way of supporting the sharing and preservation of culture. Each cinemagraph will be available as an edition of 3, with one full set going to the artist, one full set going to NFTuesdayLA, and a third available for individual purchase.