An atmospheric video installation shot entirely on a drone that confronts humanity’s impact on the world through scenes of a speculative dystopian environment, the National Gallery of Victoria presents the Australian premiere of celebrated filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt’s latest work, In the Land of Drought, on display from 19 April 2019.
The follow up to Rosefeldt’s widely popular work Manifesto – which starred Cate Blanchett playing thirteen different characters, In the Land of Drought is a meditative video work that depicts a post-Anthropocene future: one where catastrophic human influence has irreversibly damaged the Earth and wiped out human existence.
Filmed on a drone in the desolate Ruhr area of Germany and abandoned film sets in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, the work creates a hypothetical apocalyptic world that addresses current concerns around environmental degradation, urban decay and climate change.
The work follows a group of scientists investigating the archaeological remains of civilisation after humanity has rendered itself extinct. Exploring the barren landscape, they eventually congregate in an amphitheatre, repeatedly drawing close together before dispersing again.
This orchestrated ritual is accompanied by the score of a steady hum that crescendos to a climactic, pulsating rhythm as the group’s pace quickens, pointing the viewer’s attention to a recurring cycle of discovery and destruction.
“Berlin-based artist Julian Rosefeldt is renowned for his large-scale video installations and the NGV is pleased to have acquired this significant work,” said Tony Ellwood AM, Director NGV. “In the Land of Drought is as unnerving as it is visually striking, a reflective piece of art using spectacularly shot footage that compels us to reflect on our own relationship to the Earth and what this means for our future.”
Julian Rosefeldt: In the Land of Drought
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition: 19 April – 29 September 2019
For more information, visit: www.ngv.melbourne for details.
Image: Julian Rosefeldt, In the Land of Drought, 2015–17 (still). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with support of the 2017 NGV Curatorial Tour donors, 2018 © Julian Rosefeldt – image courtesy of the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE