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The Messiah Complex 5.0 ()

Presented by


Creator: Michael Dudeck

Curated by: Videofag


The Theatre Centre – BMO Incubator Space


February 5th, 2015


In 1932, American Psychologist Harry Harlow founded a Primate Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and created the first monkey breeding colony in the United States. Using a large population of newly born rhesus monkeys as subjects, Dr. Harlow studied infant relationships by replacing their mothers with artificial surrogates, made of cloth and wire.

The Messiah Complex 5.0 utilizes the Harlow experiments as a point of departure to explore concepts of religious evolution. The first segment, The Artificial Mother, excavates the trajectory from idolatry to monotheism – using Harlow’s ‘Cloth Mother’ as a metaphor to explain the religious motivation for visual and tactile iconographies. The second segment, The Messiah Complex, unearths the mythological matrix of the messianic, involving themes of conception, birth, orphan upbringing, spiritual trials and tests all aligned with the trajectory of Harlow’s primate test subjects. (


Michael Dudeck Performer

Creative Team

Michael Dudeck Creator