Julian Rosefeldt’s film MANIFESTO pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artistic 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 influential voices 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 – Academy Award®- winner Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into both famous and lesser-known words in unexpected contexts.
Rosefeldt’s film reveals 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?
JULIAN ROSEFELDT was born in 1965. He studied Architecture in Munich and Barcelona. Since 2011, he has been a professor for Digital and Time-based Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. His works have been exhibited in museums around the world. In addition to numerous film installations, his films include: the shorts ASYLUM (2002), LONELY PLANET (2006), DEEP GOLD (2014), THE SWAP (2015), IN THE LAND OF DROUGHT (2015), and the feature film and film installation MANIFESTO (2017).