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The Ship of Fools, 2007

The Ship of Fools (Nr. 1–6), 2007

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The Ship of Fools
(Nr. 1–6)
2007
LightJet print, variable dimensions
Edition 6 + 2 ap


The photo works were created in the context of the four-channel film installation The Ship of Fools (2007), filmed at the Baroque manor Schloss Sacrow near Potsdam. The location itself becomes the protagonist of the scenery through its history. Built during the Romantic period, Schloss Sacrow was temporarily inhabited by artists such as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy; during World War II, it was home to a Nazi officer; in the course of Germany’s division it was trapped in the death zone of the Berlin Wall and served as a training facility for watchdogs guarding the Berlin Wall, while nowadays it is declared as a World Heritage site and a destination for Sunday strolls. Rosefeldt combines the site – symbolising the metamorphosis and continuity of German national sentiments from the Romantic era through National Socialism, the division of Germany to nowadays – with equally emotionally charged and melancholic scenes reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich: sheepdogs are defending an old oak tree; a well-built skinhead stares into the far distance before disappearing into the swamp; an opera singer performs Wagner; a ship loaded with a crowd silently waving German flags appears out of nowhere and passes a lone wanderer standing on the shore.

The work is a sceptical epitaph on German sensitivities and on the still problematic dealing with German identity. Characterised by an agitating immobility, the four tableaux vivants in The Ship of Fools visualise the risk of stagnation.

Summarised from Stefan Berg and Katerina Gregos, in: Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works (2008)


Exhibitions / Catalogues

The Ship of Fools (Nr. 1):
– Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto. Works 2005–2017, HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, September–December 2017
Reality Based, Galería Leyendecker, St. Cruz de Tenerife, December 2013–January 2014 (curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné)
4th Mediations Biennale, When Nowhere Becomes Here. Berlin Heist, Poznan, September–October 2014
   (curated by Shaheen Merali & Kerimcan Güleryüz; catalogue)
Julian Rosefeldt – Meine Heimat ist ein düsteres, wolkenverhangenes Land, Arndt, Berlin, July–August 2014
Julian Rosefeldt – Making Of. Film Installations and Photo Works 2004–2010, DA2 – Domus Artium, Salamanca,
   October 2010–March 2011 (curated by Javier Panera)
Julian Rosefeldt – The Ship of Fools, Max Wigram Gallery, London, November–December 2008
Julian Rosefeldt. The Ship of Fools, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, May 2008
Julian Rosefeldt. The Ship of Fools, Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, January 2008
The Ship of Fools (Nr. 2):
Julian Rosefeldt – Making Of. Film Installations and Photo Works 2004–2010, DA2 – Domus Artium, Salamanca,
   October 2010–March 2011 (curated by Javier Panera)
Julian Rosefeldt – The Ship of Fools, Max Wigram Gallery, London, November–December 2008
Julian Rosefeldt. The Ship of Fools, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, May 2008
Julian Rosefeldt. The Ship of Fools, Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, January 2008
The Ship of Fools (Nr. 3):
– Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto. Works 2005–2017, HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, September–December 2017
Julian Rosefeldt. Deep Gold, Galería Helga de Alvear, Madrid, February–April 2017
NGORONGORO. ARTISTWEEKEND 2015, 
Lehderstrasse 34, Berlin-Weißensee, April–May 2015
4th Mediations Biennale, When Nowhere Becomes Here. Berlin Heist, Poznan, September–October 2014
   (curated by Shaheen Merali & Kerimcan Güleryüz; catalogue)
Julian Rosefeldt – World-Making. Film and Photo Works 2001–2011, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, April–June 2012   
   (curated by Mei-ching Fang, Fang-wei Chang; catalogue)
Julian Rosefeldt. Photo Works, Arndt, Berlin, June–August 2011
The Ship of Fools (Nr. 4):
– Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto. Works 2005–2017, HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, September–December 2017
The Ship of Fools (Nr. 5):
– Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto. Works 2005–2017, HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, September–December 2017
Julian Rosefeldt. Deep Gold, Galería Helga de Alvear, Madrid, February–April 2017
Julian Rosefeldt – Meine Heimat ist ein düsteres, wolkenverhangenes Land, Arndt, Berlin, July–August 2014
Julian Rosefeldt. Lonely Planet, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, September–October 2012
The Ship of Fools (Nr. 6):
NGORONGORO. ARTISTWEEKEND 2015, 
Lehderstrasse 34, Berlin-Weißensee, April–May 2015
Julian Rosefeldt – Meine Heimat ist ein düsteres, wolkenverhangenes Land, Arndt, Berlin, July–August 2014
Julian Rosefeldt – World-Making. Film and Photo Works 2001–2011, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, April–June 2012   
   (curated by Mei-ching Fang, Fang-wei Chang; catalogue)
Julian Rosefeldt. Photo Works, Arndt, Berlin, June–August 2011
Julian Rosefeldt – Making Of. Film Installations and Photo Works 2004–2010, DA2 – Domus Artium, Salamanca,
   October 2010–March 2011 (curated by Javier Panera)

Literature

Berg, Stephan, et al., eds. Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works. Ostfildern, 2008.

Photo Works / The Ship of Fools, 2007