Eid ist Eid, 2008
Sound (5:00 min), embroidered tapestry on loudspeaker, 150x50x50 cm

For “Eid ist Eid” (an oath is an oath), Goldstein connects disparate sound sources playing through a speaker frame with an embroidery for its surface, so that the sound collage plays through the handcrafted image. Both visual and audio relate to heritage in its many forms: from collective memory and historical records to personal, specific objects of value: heirlooms, memorabilia, childhood games. The sound piece takes sources from the artist’s family story, based on memories and subjective experience, and connects them to the larger historical narratives and cultural references they are inextricably part of.

During a visit to Krakow, Goldstein stumbled upon a photograph in one of the official commemoration albums of Auschwitz depicting people on a ramp, shortly after their arrival in the concentration camp. Goldstein suddenly recognized his own grandmother among the line of figures, and it turned out that this photograph had led to her summoning as a witness in the famous Eichmann trial. The sound piece includes pieces of her testimony, along with a Donald Duck soundtrack, which as a child Goldstein always saw in the flowered pattern of the embroidery, a family heirloom. Further elements include parts of a James Bond soundtrack, the tune of a 1943 American propaganda cartoon ridiculing the Nazi army, and the rustle of fingers tapping on a microphone that preceded Eichmann's statement in his own trial: "An oath is an oath."