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Julian Rosefeldt
Manifesto, 2015

This fall, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) premieres Manifesto in Canada. The highly vaunted piece is a 2015 Australian-German multi-screen film installation written, produced and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. A professor of Digital and Time-based Media at Berlin’s Academy of Fine Arts, Rosefeldt has created a hauntingly beautiful and complex work. His sumptuous images have an undercurrent of the peculiar. They also have a subtle sense of humour; a gentle core parody lies in each caricature.

Using wording from various manifestos – that of Karl Marx, Tristan Tzara, Guillaume Apollinaire, André Breton, Claes Oldenburg and others – Rosefeldt wrote a script that is performed by Academy Awardwining actress Cate Blanchett. And therein lies the tale. She is the pivot of the film; a chameleon that drives the film’s “narrative.” She acts out 13 roles. Each transformation is utterly believable as she pronounces her monologues, the words culled by Rosefeldt from famous manifestos. Her acting prowess is a joy to watch, as the disguises range from a ranting homeless man, a simple primary school teacher, a “classic” anchorwoman with perfect hair, and a construction worker to a stumbling drunk punk rocker, complete with messy blurred black mascara. Peering out from the artful makeover/make-up, her eyes stare at the viewer, luring them into the work – a manifesto in and of itself. Blanchett’s interpretations are that of archetypes, perhaps a subtle reflection of the viewers’ own opinions and judgements.

(Suite de l'article dans la version imprimée de Vie des arts)