Manifesto pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artist manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. The film, originally conceived as a 13-channel video installation and as such exhibited in major contemporary art museums around the world, draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, Dogme 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. Passing the ideas of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, and other influencers through his lens, Julian Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled thirteen collages of artists’ manifestos.
Performing this “manifesto of manifestos” as a contemporary call to action, while inhabiting thirteen different personas – among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man – actress Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into both famous and lesser known words in unexpected contexts.
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 generation. Exploring the powerful urgency of these historical statements, which were composed with passion and conviction by artists many years 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 film is introduced by Julian Rosefeldt and Gian Luca Farinelli, director of Cineteca di Bologna.
Foto © Julian Rosefeldt 2015 and VG Bild-Kunst 2016