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September 18, 2021 - January, 2022
 
Exhibition

In the Land of Drought - Diálogos Alemania-Ecuador
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito, Ecuador
 

A condensed version of Rosefeldt's filmic interpretation of Joseph Haydn's The Creation and conceived for the Ruhrtriennale 2015, In the Land of Drought (2015/2017) confronts the relationship between man and his impact on the world. Set to atmospheric sounds and a pulsating hum, the 43-minute piece 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 drone's bird's eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout.

Increasingly, more figures dressed in white lab suits emerge to inspect the ruins of civilisation – which are in fact abandoned film sets close to the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. The overall-clad bodies appear in stark contrast to the dull landscape, like alien visitors who were perhaps once familiar with this ruined wasteland.

Halfway through, the audience is transported to the comparably bleak Ruhr area of Germany where the remains of industrialisation lie. The same 'scientists' prowl the abandoned mining region, amidst the headframes and coal-pits, wandering across lonely land before finally descending upon an amphitheatre. As seen from the audience's heavenly outlook, the amphitheatre resembles an eye, and its all-seeing ability is reflective of the panoptic aerial viewpoint. Thus, a dialogue unfolds between the two perspectives of control: the eye on the ground and the drone's eye overhead. As the steady hum livens to a climatic rhythm, the figures draw close only to disperse again. Reminiscent of cell division, the unifying aesthetics hint at a prospective optimism amidst a dislocated world man has created.

- E. Lapper

 
 
For further information please see: Centro de Arte Contemporáneo
 
 
Julian Rosefeldt, In the Land of Drought, 2015/2017 © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
September 11 - November 13, 2021

 

Exhibition

Penumbra
Bruno Múrias, Lisbon, Portugal
 
 

Rosefeldt's new work Penumbra on view at Bruno Múrias gallery this autumn.

How does the past of a far future look like? Whereto mankind will be driven by the forces of neoliberalism, climate change, populism, and self exploitation by social media? The film Penumbra is not science fiction. Instead it shows where we stand right now in a fictitious setting which offers the framework for a paradoxical enigma: Who will we be when we are gone?

Following In the Land of Drought, 2015/17, the condensed version of my filmic interpretation of Joseph Hayden’s oratorio The Creation, the new work Penumbra originates as a film work which Julian Rosefeldt developed as a visual backdrop for the opera Robert Schumann’s oratorio Scenes from Goethe’s Faust for the opera houses of Antwerp, Ghent and Montpellier.

For his two key works of German literature, Faust: A Tragedy, Part I and II (1808–1832), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created a visionary protagonist. The character of the scientist and entrepeneur Dr. Faust anticipated the big issues of our time: capitalism, post- colonialism, the exploitation of nature, and environmental disasters. Robert Schumann chose a few fragments of Goethe’s masterpiece and composed music for it. Lacking a consistent narrative structure, Schumann’s oratorio is not staged very often.

Same as the 43-minute In the Land of Drought, Penumbra focusses on the „After us“, and addresses the relationship between man and his impact on the world, looking back from an imagined far future upon the post-Anthropocene – the aftermath of significant human influence on our planet. This time, mankind has seemingly left Earth for good, trying its luck on a faraway unknown hyper-urbanized desert planet. But again, apparently things did not go well at that extraterrestrial colony and only some hectically built space settlements seem to grant shelter. On the planet’s surface we see abandoned megacities in a dystopian landscape and artificial circular plantations, positioned in the desert around the cities in order to nourish their last inhabitants. The camera hovers meditatively over the desolate landscape and the ruined megapolises. Connoting surveillance, the satellite’s / drone’s / bird’s eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout.

 
 For further information please see: Bruno Múrias

 


Julian Rosefeldt, Penumbra, 2019/2021 © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

 

 

September 9 - November 20, 2021

 

Exhibition

Penumbra and In the Land of Drought
Galería Helga de Alvear, Madrid, Spain
 
 

Rosefeldt's new work Penumbra on view for the first time at Helga de Alvear.

How does the past of a far future look like? Whereto mankind will be driven by the forces of neoliberalism, climate change, populism, and self exploitation by social media? The film Penumbra is not science fiction. Instead it shows where we stand right now in a fictitious setting which offers the framework for a paradoxical enigma: Who will we be when we are gone?

Following In the Land of Drought, 2015/17, the condensed version of my filmic interpretation of Joseph Hayden’s oratorio The Creation, the new work Penumbra originates as a film work which Julian Rosefeldt developed as a visual backdrop for the opera Robert Schumann’s oratorio Scenes from Goethe’s Faust for the opera houses of Antwerp, Ghent and Montpellier.

For his two key works of German literature, Faust: A Tragedy, Part I and II (1808–1832), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created a visionary protagonist. The character of the scientist and entrepeneur Dr. Faust anticipated the big issues of our time: capitalism, post- colonialism, the exploitation of nature, and environmental disasters. Robert Schumann chose a few fragments of Goethe’s masterpiece and composed music for it. Lacking a consistent narrative structure, Schumann’s oratorio is not staged very often.

Same as the 43-minute In the Land of Drought, Penumbra focusses on the „After us“, and addresses the relationship between man and his impact on the world, looking back from an imagined far future upon the post-Anthropocene – the aftermath of significant human influence on our planet. This time, mankind has seemingly left Earth for good, trying its luck on a faraway unknown hyper-urbanized desert planet. But again, apparently things did not go well at that extraterrestrial colony and only some hectically built space settlements seem to grant shelter. On the planet’s surface we see abandoned megacities in a dystopian landscape and artificial circular plantations, positioned in the desert around the cities in order to nourish their last inhabitants. The camera hovers meditatively over the desolate landscape and the ruined megapolises. Connoting surveillance, the satellite’s / drone’s / bird’s eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout.

 
 For further information please see: Galería Helga de Alvear

 


Julian Rosefeldt, Penumbra, 2019/2021 © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

 

 

August 22, 2021 - July 2 2023

 

Exhibition

Deep Gold
in Die Kunst der Gesellschaft 1900–1945, Sammlung der Nationalgalerie
Neue National Galerie, Berlin, DE

 

Deep Gold (2013/2014) is part of the anthology film The Scorpion’s Sting (2013/2014), 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 (1930). Based on the original episodes, Tobias Zielony, Chicks On Speed, M+M, Keren Cytter, Julian Rosefeldt and John Bock each reinterpreted one of the six filmic sequences.

Rosefeldt’s part, the black-and-white film Deep Gold, recalls a grotesque version of the ‘Golden Age’. It functions as a fictional insert in Buñuel’s original movie, in which the two protagonists, played by Lya Lys and Gaston Modot, try to fulfil their lust for each other, but are constantly separated or disturbed by various obstacles. Buñuel used the motif of amour fou to criticise the restrictions and conventions of the time: the Catholic Church, the political establishment, the bourgeois morality, the aristocracy, etc. It is the final scene before the epilogue, in particular, that becomes a key moment for Rosefeldt’s project. In the garden of a villa Lya Lys suddenly ignores her hitherto desired Modot and instead kisses an old man. Subsequently, Modot freaks out and starts a crazed action in his room, throwing a priest, a burning Christmas tree, a snowplough and a giraffe out of the window. The surprising fact that Buñuel in L’Âge d'Or sets Lya Lys free in her lust and doesn’t bind her desires to Modot, who, quite the opposite, only focusses on her, can be read as a defiant and progressive statement by the Catholic Spanish film maker.

Rosefeldt interpreted this episode as an early and provocative feminist manifesto. Taking this understanding as a starting point for Deep Gold, his version shows a world full of lust and desire, in which a weak male protagonist becomes overwhelmed by an omnipresent female sexuality. The initial suicide of a fool in love marks the entrance into a bizarre 1920s setting: Rosefeldt’s Modot jumps out of the window and awakes in a foggy street – a surrealistic environment rife with bars, brothels, whores, hustlers and naked people strolling around shamelessly. Stunned and confused, he continues his rampage and ends up in a nightclub (Deep Gold), where a lascivious performance widens his eyes and once and for all drives him mad. Promiscuity and freedom from behavioural codes are excessively celebrated at the club, while the protagonist wanders around like a stranger – used to the inhibited bourgeois world he derives from. Throughout the film he embodies a symbol of the constrained modern society Buñuel assaulted in the early twentieth century.

Rosefeldt intertwines his references to Buñuel with up-to-the-minute news: Richard Wagner’s music and a Dalí double encounter topless FEMEN activists and other contemporary feminist protagonists, while wall posters with the Occupy-Wall-Street-slogan ‘We are the 99%’ hint at the parallels between the economic situation of the 1920s and that of today. The aesthetics of the film is akin to the original movie, but the moral and social standards in Deep Gold are those of the present: sexual revolution and the feminist movement reached their pinnacle long ago; promiscuity is reality and pornography is overall disposable.

L. Korndörfer

Exhibition

Deep Gold in Die Kunst der Gesellschaft
1900–1945. Sammlung der Nationalgalerie

Neue National Galerie, Berlin

 

For further information please see: Neue National Galerie

 


Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014 © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

 

 

October 29, 2021 - February 13, 2022
Exhibition:
 
Detonation Deutschland
in Adam, Eva und die Schlange
Werke aus der Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann
Bundeskunsthalle, Dresden, DE

 

With a selection of some 200 outstanding works – ranging from painting, photography, drawing and sculpture to installation, film and video art – the Bundeskunsthalle presents a comprehensive survey of modern art drawn from the important private collection put together by Erika and Rolf Hoffmann. The Hoffmanns made their first acquisitions in the 1960s, purchasing primarily directly from artists, with whom they maintained a close dialogue from the very beginning. The exhibition offers deep insights into the collection in all its individuality, subjectivity and intensely private nature – Erika Hoffmann has been known to describe the works as ‘family members.’
The dialogical, corresponding and synergetic principle of the collection, which transcends borders and generations, is made manifest in the open and cross-media presentation. The exhibition sheds light on surprising correspondences, offers intellectual and emotional stimuli and reflects fundamental existential and philosophical questions that have a timeless validity in our society. Concepts such as energy, radicality, innovation, transience, corporeality or volatility are compellingly brought to life in works by artists such as Carla Accardi, Yael Bartana, Christian Boltanski, Monica Bonvicini, Isa Genzken, Felix González-Torres, Georg Herold, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Ernesto Neto, Julian Rosefeldt, Frank Stella, Wolfgang Tillmans and Andy Warhol. The rich diversity of artistic expressions in the exhibition reflects that of the collection.
A cooperation between the Bundeskunsthalle and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann

 

 
For further information and opening dates please see: Bundeskunsthalle October 29, 2021 - February 13, 2022
 
 

Julian Rosefeldt / Piero Steinle, Detonation Deutschland, 1996/1999 © Julian Rosefeldt, Piero Steinle and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021