Julian Rosefeldt, ‘Manifesto’ (2015). © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
‘Manifesto’ pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artist manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. ‘Manifesto’ draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, Dogme 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. Passing the ideas of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, and other influencers through his lens, Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled thirteen collages of artists’ manifestos.
Performing this ‘manifesto of manifestos’ as a contemporary call to action, while inhabiting thirteen different personas – among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man – Australian actress Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into both famous and lesser known words in unexpected contexts.
Rosefeldt’s work reveals both the performative component and the political significance of these declarations. Often written in youthful rage, they not only express the wish to change the world through art but also reflect the voice of a generation. Exploring the powerful urgency of these historical statements, which were composed with passion and conviction by artists many years ago, ‘Manifesto’ questions whether the words and sentiments have withstood the passage of time. Can they be applied universally? And how have the dynamics between politics, art and life shifted?
Rosefeldt’s ‘Manifesto’ film installation has been shown internationally in numerous solo exhibitions such as Musée d‘artcontemporain, Montreal, Canada (2018); Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris, Paris, France (2017); Park Avenue Armory, New York NY (2016); Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany (2016); and ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, Australia (2015). Other solo exhibitions have been exhibited at Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017); Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (2017); Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis MO (2016); Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2016); and British Film Institute, London, England (2010).
‘Manifesto’ has been co-commissioned by the ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne, the Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney, the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Sprengel Museum Hannover. The work is co-produced by the Burger Collection Hong Kong and the Ruhrtriennale. It was realized thanks to the generous support of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and in cooperation with Bayerischer Rundfunk.
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