GO SEE: JULIAN ROSEFELDT American Night at BFI Gallery, BFI Southbank through to 7th November 2010 - FAD Magazine

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GO SEE: JULIAN ROSEFELDT American Night at BFI Gallery, BFI Southbank through to 7th November 2010

10 September – 7 November 2010

Berlin-based artist Julian Rosefeldt (b.1965) has made a name for himself with lavishly produced, moving image multi-screen installations. American Night is one of his most complex works to date – a five channel film installation. In it he uses the stylistic devices of the Western genre, to deconstruct the myth of the founding of America and relate it to the ambitions of recent US foreign policy. Julian Rosefeldt: American Night opens at the BFI Gallery on 10 September and runs until 7 November 2010. Admission is free.

American Night (2009) is a homage to the medium of film and reflects on the construction of fictional narratives using cinematographic and iconographic references. Shot on a Sergio Leone film set in southern Spain and on the Canary Islands on 16mm film transferred onto HD, it uses the stylistic devices of the Western genre to take on political issues.

The installation offers a complex, simultaneous interweaving of several dimensions of reality: for example, one of the screens shows five cowboys gathered around a camp fire, musing on the American conception of freedom and speaking a language entirely made out of quotations from film, US politicians’ speeches and rap music lyrics. On another screen, viewers see a puppet show performed in a saloon with George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the protagonists, while, in reference to a certain US foreign policy, another scene shows a helicopter landing and armed US troops rushing out to occupy a deserted Western town.

As in François Truffaut’s famous film La Nuit Américaine, Rosefeldt’s film installation is an homage to the process of filmmaking itself. The title ‘American Night’ refers to a filming technique that allows the shooting of night scenes during the daytime (often used in Westerns). Rosefeldt alludes on the one hand to that filming technique (which he also uses here) and on the other, metaphorically to ‘the approaching end of the American empire’.

About Julian Rosefeldt
Born in Munich in 1965, Julian Rosefeldt studied architecture in Munich and Barcelona. He has participated in many group exhibitions, including recently at: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Royal Academy of Arts London, MuKHA Antwerp, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington, Hayward Gallery London, Kunstverein Hannover, MUSAC Léon, International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Prague, São Paolo Biennial, Centre National Georges Pompidou Paris, Kunsthalle Basel, and at P.S.1 New York. Solo exhibitions at DA2 Domus Artium Salamanca (2010, forthcoming), Berlinische Galerie Berlin (2010), Kunstmuseum Bonn (2009), Galería Helga de Alvear Madrid (2008), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead (2004), KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin (2004), Museum Franz Gertsch, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart Berlin (2002), ZKM Karlsruhe (1999) and Kunstsammlung NRW Düsseldorf (1998). He has exhibited his work several times at Arndt & Partner Berlin / Zurich and at Max Wigram Gallery London and his work is in public and private collections. Since 1999 he has lived and worked in Berlin.

Julian Rosefeldt is represented by Max Wigram Gallery London and Arndt Berlin.
© all images: Julian Rosefeldt.



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