Auckland Art Gallery in collaboration with Auckland Arts Festival will present the New Zealand premiere of Julian Rosefeldt’s immersive 13-channel film installation Manifesto, featuring Cate Blanchett, from Saturday 24 February 2018.
In Manifesto (2015), Rosefeldt pays homage to the tradition of artist manifestos, exploring declarations from different time periods and art movements. In meshing these with contemporary scenarios and characters, Rosefeldt ultimately questions the role of the artist in society today.
Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists and other artist groups, as well as the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers, which are dissected and reassembled by Rosefeldt on 13 screens each measuring 4.2m wide by 2.4m high.
Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into these manifestos by inhabiting multiple personas, including a school teacher, factory worker, choreographer, punk, newsreader, scientist, puppeteer, widow, homeless man and more.
Auckland Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport says presenting Manifesto by Julian Rosefeldt builds on the Gallery’s expertise in delivering sophisticated filmic works.
‘Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto continues the Gallery’s engagement with current experimentations in the conception and presentation of moving image and time-based art. The immersive experience of Manifesto offers new possibilities for our audiences to appreciate this absorbing and deeply considered work. Simultaneously, the exhibition opens out new meaning of what a manifesto might be in today’s world,’ she says.
Manifesto brings the viewer into an immersive exhibition space to encounter the grand ideas of each of Blanchett’s characters, at times humourous and always thought provoking, which play out simultaneously across the 13 screens.
Auckland Arts Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Bielski says Cate Blanchett is perhaps the great actor of our time, and that every performance she gives is an event.
‘To be in the presence of 13 extraordinary performances at the same time is a holy experience. Manifesto is an utterly unforgettable contemporary art installation,’ he says.
Rosefeldt says Manifesto is an homage to the beauty of artists’ manifestos, a ‘manifesto of manifestos’.
‘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,’ he says.
Rosefeldt’s work reveals both 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 specific generation.
Exploring the powerful urgency of these historical statements, which were composed with passion and conviction by artists sometimes decades 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?
The New Zealand premiere of Manifesto by Julian Rosefeldt is presented by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Auckland Arts Festival 2018.
For further information, high-res image requests and interviews, contact:
Manifesto by Julian Rosefeldt
Saturday 24 February to Sunday 10 June 2018
10am – 5pm daily
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
Auckland, New Zealand
Early bird: $12.50
General admission: $15
Auckland Art Gallery Members: Free
Children 12 and under: Free
Manifesto has been co-commissioned by the ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne, the Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney, the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Sprengel Museum Hanover. The work is co-produced by the Burger Collection Hong Kong and the Ruhrtriennale. It was realised thanks to the generous support of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and in cooperation with Bayerischer Rundfunk.
The Berlin-based artist Julian Rosefeldt (born in Munich in 1965) is internationally renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving image artworks, mostly presented as complex multi-screen installations. Inspired equally by the histories of film, art and popular culture, 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.
Born in Australia, Cate Blanchett is an actress and theatre director appearing in more than 50 films and 20 theatre productions. She has received international acclaim and many accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTA Awards, six AACTA Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Manifesto began with a chance encounter at a Berlin gallery opening in 2010 where Blanchett was introduced to Rosefeldt and his work through their mutual friend Thomas Ostermeier (artistic director of the Schaubühne Theatre); they agreed to a collaboration (despite not knowing what the project would be).