ACMI is staging the world premiere of Manifesto (2015), a new 13-channel work by Berlin based Rosefeldt which highlights Blanchett’s acting range.
In Manifesto Rosefeldt has taken the words from Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus, Suprematists, Situtationists, Dogma 95 and other avant-garde artists and thinkers from the past 100 years and edited, combined and rearranged them into new manifestos.
These manifestos are presented by Blanchett appearing in 12 scenarios as different characters (the 13th video is the prologue). The 12 characters include a school teacher, a punk musician, a puppeteer, a glamorous newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man. In some of the videos, which each run for 10 minutes, she appears alone, in others with other actors (including her family in one of the videos).
The manifestos she presents question whether the 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?
Rosefeldt has designed the exhibition so you can sit and listen to each manifesto individually. Or you can stand between them and you’ll find voices coming to you from all directions – which apparently is one of his aims. At one stage Blanchett’s characters simultaneously face the camera to deliver their monologues. Apparently in designing the exhibition he pictured a group of friends around a bar discussing and arguing. A line from one manifesto may start a conversation which is then interrupted by the words of another.
Having seen this exhibition twice I must admit to not really appreciating the `art’ behind it. However after the second visit I think I have a great understanding of what he was trying to achieve. It’s also a delight to watch Blanchett is action but a third visit maybe necessary to comprehend the manifestos!
The exhibition also features Rosefeldt’s previous works Deep Gold (2013), Stunned Man (Trilogy of Failure II) (2004) and The Soundmaker (Trilogy of Failure I) (2004).
The free exhibition is on at ACMI until March 13. It then opens at Sydney’s Art Gallery NSW on May 28.
Other exhibitions currently on show in Melbourne include Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei at the National Gallery of Victoria.
- ACMI, exhibitions, Julian Rosefeldt
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