This summer the Australian Centre for the Moving Image unveils the world premiere of Manifesto (2015), a new thirteen-channel work by pre-eminent artist Julian Rosefeldt starring Cate Blanchett. Manifesto is at the heart of Rosefeldt’s survey exhibition opening at ACMI on Wednesday 9 December 2015.
Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situtationists, Dogma 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. Passing the philosophies of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Elaine Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, and other influencers through his lens, Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled a collage of artists’ manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today.
Performing these ‘new manifestos’ while inhabiting thirteen different personas – among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man – Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into these famous words in unexpected contexts.
Rosefeldt’s work questions whether these passionate statements, composed by artists with utter conviction, have withstood the passage of time. Can they be applied universally? How have the dynamics between politics, art and life shifted? And what is the artist’s role in society today?
“I have used the title Manifesto as a clear statement that the focus in this work is above all on texts, whether by visual artists, filmmakers, writers, performers or architects – and on the poetry of these texts,” said Rosefeldt. “It’s my intention to pull the curiosity of the viewer back to the text and the spoken word. Manifesto is a homage to the beauty of artists’ manifestos – a manifesto of manifestos.”
“The art scene at the beginning of the last century was still very small. To be heard, artists needed to scream extremely loud. The art scene today is a global network and business with diverse means of expression, and the manifesto as a medium of artistic articulation has become less relevant in a globalised and connected art world.”
Manifesto (2015) has been commissioned by a unique group of partners that includes ACMI, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin and Sprengel Museum, Hanover.
“We are delighted to be presenting the stunning work of Julian Rosefeldt at ACMI over summer and in particular the world premiere of Manifesto starring the extraordinary Cate Blanchett,” said Katrina Sedgwick, CEO and Director of ACMI. “Julian’s work blurs the boundaries between cinema and visual art.
“For ACMI, as we rapidly evolve as a 21st Century museum, and for our audiences, Manifesto challenges us to think deeply about our own manifesto – and for ACMI it is wonderful to be working with an artist like Julian who defies traditional definitions of artistic practice.”
The exhibition brings together Julian’s previous works Deep Gold (2013), Stunned Man (Trilogy of Failure II) (2004) and The Soundmaker (Trilogy of Failure I) (2004) with the newly commissioned work.
A Berlin-based artist, Julian Rosefeldt is world renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving image artworks exploring themes of dislocation, alienation and social and psychological disruption.
Inspired equally by film, art and pop-culture histories, Rosefeldt uses familiar cinematic tropes to carry viewers into surreal, theatrical realms, where the inhabitants are absorbed by the rituals of everyday life, employing humour and satire to seduce audiences into familiar worlds made strange.
Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 9 December – 13 March 2015
For more information, visit: www.acmi.net.au for details.
Image: Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto (2015) – image courtesy the artist (c)