JULIAN ROSEFELDT | VIDEO AND FILM

2 > March 23, 2019

Julian Rosefeldt's passion for the cinema began when he was frequenting the film museum in Munich as a teenager discovering the work of Buñuel, Godard and Antonioni. He has been working with moving images for over twenty years and, while favouring the installation as an art form, he maintains a deeply cinematographic approach to creativity. To tie in with his exhibition Manifesto, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni offers visitors an opportunity to explore his rich visionary world with a selection of one-channel films and videos on the big screen in its Sala Cinema. Thanks to a visually rich, elegant and skilfully orchestrated mise-en-scène, Rosefeldt recuperates and revolutionises the narrative stereotypes of movie history and mass culture: Western, gangster, noir or dystopian settings freeze, through his ironic outsider's eye, into surreal, theatrical, threatening and morbidly claustrophobic spaces peopled by individuals trapped in their daily routine, revealing the disturbing and paradoxical side of seemingly familiar experiences.

 

News (excerpt 1),

di Julian Rosefeldt / Piero Steinle, 1998, 1 min.

(Part of 2-channel video installation / 12-channel sound installation, Colour, sound, Dimensions variable)

For News Julian Rosefeldt and his former artist-partner Piero Steinle searched through the archives of German news programmes of private and public TV. They started to excerpt texts, sounds and gestures of newsreaders in order to reveal repetitive patterns within language and image. It becomes evident that even the news, which is expected to present an objective truth, shows a subjectively constructed version of reality. When one looks at today’s online media, this kind of news transmission appears almost outdated. News can hence be read as a ‘multimedia requiem, a swan song on a vanishing form of news transmission’.

 

Meine Kunst kriegt hier zu fressen – Hommage à Max Beckmann (excerpts 2+3)

di Julian Rosefeldt / Piero Steinle, 2002, 5 min.

(Part of 4-channel video installation, DVD, Aspect ratio 4:3)

Julian Rosefeldt and Piero Steinle created Meine Kunst kriegt hier zu fressen – Hommage à Max Beckmann 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, the video installation provided an emotional access to the biographical background of Beckmann. Although the videos are based on archival film footage, the sequences offer an associative rather than documentary approach and constitute a melange of stations in Beckmann’s life.

 

Trilogy of Failure (Part 2) - Stunned Man

di Julian Rosefeldt, 2004, 32 min

(2-channel film installation, Colour, sound, Shot on Super-16mm, Aspect ratio 16:9)

Stunned Man is part of the Trilogy of Failure in which three different settings draw a picture of our vain entanglement with everyday rituals. In each case the protagonist is caught up in a microcosm that suggests mental and spatial claustrophobia. As a reaction to the hopeless situation, he plunges into permanent Sisyphean activity – going nowhere and producing nothing. The motifs of perpetual attempt and constant failure find their equivalent in the repetitive structure of the loop. The scenes are allegories of our frantic and ultimately futile attempts to escape the surrounding norms, constraints, structures and rituals by which we are determined.

 

Lonely Planet

di Julian Rosefeldt, 2006, 16 min.

(1-channel film, Colour, sound, Shot on Super-35mm, Aspect ratio 2,35:1)

Lonely Planet shows the stereotype of a western backpacker in India on his odyssey through a world of interlocking backdrops. 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.

 

Deep Gold

di Julian Rosefeldt, 2013/2014, 18 min.

(1-channel film, B/w, sound, Shot on HD, Aspect ratio 16:9)

Deep Gold is part of the anthology The Scorpion’s Sting 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. Rosefeldt’s part recalls a grotesque version of the ‘Golden Age’. It functions as a fictional insert in Buñuel’s original movie, showing a world full of lust and desire, in which a weak male protagonist becomes overwhelmed by an omnipresent female sexuality. Throughout the film he embodies a symbol of the constrained modern society Buñuel assaulted in the early twentieth century.

 

The Swap

di Julian Rosefeldt, 2015, 16 min.

(1-channel film, Colour, stereo sound, Shot on HD, Aspect ratio 1,85:1)

On the surface, The Swap 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.

 

In the Land of Drought

di Julian Rosefeldt, 2015/2017, 43 min.

(1-channel film, Colour, sound, Shot on HD, Aspect ratio 2,35:1)

In the Land of Drought confronts the relationship between man and his impact on the world. Set to atmospheric sounds and a pulsating hum, it looks back from an imagined future upon the post-Anthropocene: the aftermath of significant human influence on Earth. An army of scientists appear to investigate archeologically at the remnants of civilisation after humanity has made itself extinct. Shot entirely using a drone, Rosefeldt's images hover meditatively over the desolate landscape and ruins. Connoting surveillance, the bird's eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout.


INFORMATIONS:

Admission free while places last. Seats assigned from one hour before the start of each screening. Reservations may be made by membership cardholders only. There will no further admission once the event has started.

Sala Cinema

Admission via steps in via Milano 9a