2016 | video | 04:08 min
In 1882, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche published his book Der Fröhliche Wissenschaft (Gay Science), which contains his famous parable of Der Tolle Mensch (The Madman):
''Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"
As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated? Thus they yelled and laughed.
The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him, you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?''
Concept, performance & editing by Jessica van Deursen
Camera & audio by Wilbert Eerland
At the end of the 19th century, science replaced the role of religion as a way to understand and approach the world. Mankind shifted from having a mystical worldview, to an understanding in which man not only became a scientist, but also became the subject matter of his own examination. Or, as Nietzsche puts it: man has put himself on God's throne.
But what has come from this antropocentric worldview? How much success does man have in constructing it's own world, and therefor, also in constructing himself?