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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 20:00
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 17:30
Written by: 
Julian Rosefeldt
Cate Blanchett
Christoph Krauss
Bobby Good
David Hilgers, Fabian Schmidt, Markus Stemler, Tschangis Chahrokh
Julian Rosefeldt
Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), Ruhr Triennale, Schiwago Film
Romanian Premiere
With the support of

Manifesto pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artist manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. It 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 their ideas [...] through his lens, visual artist Julian Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled thirteen collages of artists’ manifestos. Performing these 'new manifestos' as a contemporary call to action, while inhabiting thirteen different personas, Australian 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. 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 [...] and how the dynamics between politics, art and life have shifted.

"Art history is a derivation of history and we learn from history. Artists, as well as writers, philosophers and scientists, have always been the ones who have dared to formulate thoughts and visions whose consistency had yet to be proven. [...] We seem to be well advised to read artist manifestos as seismographs of their age. And in a time where neo-nationalist, racist and populist tendencies in politics and media threaten again democracies all over the world and challenge us to defend our allegedly achieved values of tolerance and respect, Manifesto becomes a clarion call for action". (Julian Rosefeldt)

"Manifesto is an art film in the truest sense: It is conceptual in nature, nontraditional in form, and perfectly esoteric in appeal. [...] What few could foresee walking into the experience is how an often-contradictory collection of dogma might inspire the artistically open-minded. Whereas a single manifesto rigidly demands creativity within constraints, this maelstrom of competing rules and regulations encourages viewers to take a stand and consider their own aesthetic". (Peter Debruge, Variety)
"If the art world gave out Oscars, Cate Blanchett should win for her tour de force of starring roles in Manifesto". (Roberta Smith, The New York Times)
"A confirmation of both Blanchett’s sheer presence and acumen and Rosefeldt’s shrewdness and intellect, Manifesto is worth every minute – A remarkable exploration of cultural and cinematic tropes and expectations". (The Sydney Morning Herald)
"What matters in Manifesto isn’t what is said but the way it’s said, and Rosefeldt has found a way to shrinkwrap the ambitious spirit and poetry of these texts into humble everyday actions. A manifesto is a schoolteacher, instructing a new generation. A manifesto is a ballet teacher, choreographing bodies rather than minds. A manifesto is a mourner, eulogising not the death of a person but the death of an idea". (Toby Fehily, The Guardian)

Julian Rosefeldt

Julian Rosefeldt (b. 1965) is a German film and video artist who lives and works in Berlin. His work consists primarily of elaborate, visually opulent film and video installations, often shown as panoramic multi-channel projections, ranging in style from documentary to theatrical narrative. His work reflects the artist’s fascination with day-to-day reality, and the stereotypes, clichés and mindless repetitions that suffuse popular culture. His films and installations include Manifesto (2016), The Creation (2015), Deep Gold (2013/2014), My Home Is A Dark And Cloud-Hung Land (2011), American Night (2009), The Shift (2008), The Ship of Fools (2007), Lonely Planet (2006), Requiem (2007), The Perfectionist (2005), Stunned Man (2004), The Soundmaker (2004), Trilogy of Failure (2004/2005), Asylum (2001/2002). Having shown extensively in museums and festivals worldwide, Rosefeldt's work is now a part of several renowned collections, such as Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie, London's Saatchi Gallery, and New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Festivals, awards: 
Sundance Film Festival 2017, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017
Director's statement:
"A while ago, during the research for another project, I came across two manifestos by the French Futurist poet and choreographer Valentine de Saint-Point and was immediately set on fire. [...] I read any manifesto I could find including theatre, dance, film and architecture manifestos. [...] These manifestos were not only texts which were intended to turn art – and eventually the whole world – upside down and revolutionise it; at the same time they are testimonials about the search for identity, shouted out into the world. [...] The writing was beautiful and mesmerizing; I could hear the words as if they were spoken. I realised that they weren’t just historical art documents, but the most lively, performable text material. They reminded me more as theatre, and so I began to imagine these manifestos as a performance, liberated from the dust of art history and re-located in the present time". (Julian Rosefeldt)
"For me [the film itself] is a manifesto, absolutely. [...] It shows you that artists can be seismographs of their time with a utopian kind of prophetic view on life. They can’t prove what they say, but they risk saying it and speak it loud with intelligence. That’s what makes them so different from the stupid populists of our times, right? They are speaking up, but with something to say or use such a poetic language that there’s space enough to read it in a new way. It’s a lesson in political articulation as well and encouragement to listen to artist". (Julian Rosefeldt, interview by Marshall Shaffer for Movie Mezzanine)