New York City, NY
Cinematographer and video artist Julian Rosefeldt has made a name for himself not only for his photography, but also for his elaborately staged films that investigate the language and conventions of cinema as an allegory for societal and individual behaviors. He continues this exploration with Manifesto, a collage of artistic declarations from the past century reinterpreted as poetic monologues to provoke timeless questions about the gendered, social, and political contexts that shape the artist’s role in society.
These angry, youthful, and powerful texts are brought to life in a tour-de-force of acting by Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett, who creates a kaleidoscopic series of different characterizations ranging from a TV anchorwoman to a corporate CEO to a homeless man. Presented simultaneously on massive screens, the 13 scenes draw on more than 50 manifestos by artists, architects, choreographers, and filmmakers at early points in their career, woven together into dramatic soliloquies that highlight specific movements or schools of thought. Connecting these famous texts to the humanity of everyday characters and actions, this highly theatrical cinematic installation makes its highly-anticipated North American premiere in an immersive reimagining that takes full advantage of the soaring Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The resulting polyphonic plea for aesthetic change boldly recaptures the defiant spirit of its source material for a contemporary audience.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.