Friday, 18 January 2019, 24:00 | midnight

#101: Julian Rosefeldt

For many years we have wished to invite Julian Rosefeldt for a screening at Videoart at Midnight. But Julian is better known for works in the exhibition context than for the cinema setting. Now however he put together a program of single channel works and we are very happy, that Julian will start – after our fulminate 10 years anniversary – the new decade.

Julian Rosefeldt will show

News (excerpt 1)
Julian Rosefeldt / Piero Steinle, 1998, 1 min

Leaving behind their focus on architecture in the broadest sense, Julian Rosefeldt and his former collaborator Piero Steinle dedicated themselves to structures within different systems: namely, the media. For News (1998) they searched through the archives of German news programmes of private
and public TV from West and East Germany.
The artists started to excerpt texts, sounds and gestures of newsreaders in order to reveal repetitive patterns within language and image. Two screens and twelve soundtracks constitute a sort of meta media language, a grammar of the camera. It becomes evident that even the news, which is expected to present an objective truth, shows a subjectively constructed version of reality. Certain topics are intentionally combined with specific images: harmless news such as the birth of zoo animals is included so viewers can digest war reports, insignificant images depict the outside of buildings housing politically important meetings, and so on.

Lonely Planet
2006, 16 min

Lonely Planet (2006) shows the stereotype of a western backpacker in India on his odyssey through a world of interlocking backdrops. The desert marks the beginning and end of a trip that takes the protagonist (played by the artist himself) ever deeper into a labyrinth maze of swarming crowds and Bollywood film sets in which he is in danger of becoming lost forever. His journey takes him from romanticised motifs to the slums of Bombay, where the scene suddenly shifts from a fictitious narrative to the reality of a filmic setting: the tourist emerges as a performer amongst cameras and spotlights; the dirty metropolis gives way to the artificial and illusory atmosphere on the set; a putatively authentic India reverts to the realm of Bollywood. When the protagonist finally manages to escape into the blessed emptiness of the desert, it is merely the beginning of a renewed dissolution of the self.  – Summarised from Stefan Berg, in: Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works (2008)

Deep Gold

2013/2014, 18 min

Deep Gold is part of the anthology film The Scorpion’s Sting (2013/2014), that was initiated by the artist-duo M+M. Six artists or artist collectives were invited to work on Luis Buñuel’s groundbreaking and at the time scandalous film L’Âge d’Or (1930). Based on the original episodes, Tobias Zielony, Chicks On Speed, M+M, Keren Cytter, Julian Rosefeldt and John Bock each reinterpreted one of the six filmic sequences.
Rosefeldt’s part, the black-and-white film Deep Gold, recalls a grotesque version of the ‘Golden Age’. It functions as a fictional insert in Buñuel’s original movie, in which the two protagonists, played by Lya Lys and Gaston Modot, try to fulfil their lust for each other, but are constantly separated or disturbed by various obstacles. – L. Korndörfer

Meine Kunst kriegt hier zu fressen – Hommage à Max Beckmann (3)

Julian Rosefeldt / Piero Steinle, 2002, 6 min

Julian Rosefeldt and his former artist-partner Piero Steinle created Meine Kunst kriegt hier zu fressen – Hommage à Max Beckmann (2002) on occasion of the exhibition Max Beckmann, un peintre dans l’histoire at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Honouring the German artist who, especially in France, has long been undervalued, Steinle’s and Rosefeldt’s video installation provided an emotional access to the biographical background of Beckmann.

The Swap

2015, 16 min

On the surface, The Swap (2015) appears to parody a scene from a classic gangster film of covert dodgy dealings, yet Rosefeldt’s manipulation thrusts it into contemporary reality. Set at a deserted container terminal, two rival mobs pull up in cars, about to perform the familiar briefcase exchange of concealed goods. Clad in leather, guns poised; Rosefeldt plays once again with our stereotypical expectations, luring the viewer into a sense of familiarity until an unpredictable turn challenges our perception and exacerbates seemingly subtle aspects of their behaviour. – E. Lapper

and after a short break

2017, 94 min

Julian Rosefeldt’s film 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, Dogma 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 these ‘new 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 art film 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?

Making Manifesto

Cristian Pirjol 2018, 37 min, German without subtitles – world premiere

Cristian Pirjol accompanied the whole production process of Manifesto. With his film he gives interesting insights into Julian Roselfeldt’s thoughts and ideas on Manifesto through backstage interviews and fantastic making-of-scenes with Cate Blanchett.

Julian Rosefeldt
(b. 1965 in Munich, Germany) studied architecture in Munich and Barcelona (MA 1994).  2009/2010 he had a guest professorship at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, faculty of media art. Since 2010 he is member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, department of film and media art, Munich. Since 2011 he has a professorship for digital and time-based media at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich. Julian Rosefeldt lives and works in Berlin.