Last exhibitions at the MAC before its transformation: Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto offers an immersive experience inspired by some of history’s greatest manifestos

Renowned Australian actress Cate Blanchett brought her exceptional talent to bear in this tour de force, which draws inspiration from architecture, film, performance art and the visual arts to present a modern take on and meaning to texts that shaped art history throughout the 20th century.

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Julian Rosefeldt, Still from Manifesto, 2015. © Julian Rosefeldt et VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017 (CNW Group/Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal)

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 18, 2018 – From October 20, 2018, to January 20, 2019, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is proud to present Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto. Through this expansive, thirteen-channel video installation, the German artist pays tribute to the eloquence and literary beauty of artist manifestos. Renowned Australian actress Cate Blanchett brought her exceptional talent to bear in this tour de force, which draws inspiration from architecture, film, performance art and the visual arts to present a modern take on and meaning to texts that shaped art history throughout the 20th century. According to John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC, this exhibition is “nothing less than a Manifesto of manifestos”.

Along with Françoise Sullivan and ScoresJulian Rosefeldt: Manifesto is part of the final series of exhibitions to be presented at the MAC before its transformation project begins in 2019. During the renovations, the MAC will remain active by moving in a smaller temporary space later in 2019, and by offering an artistic programming to the public.

Julian Rosefeldt, Still from Manifesto, 2015. © Julian Rosefeldt et VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017 (CNW Group/Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal)

A Manifesto of manifestos

Julian Rosefeldt delved into about 50 manifestos written by groups of artists, such as Futurists, Dadaists and Situationists, as well as the musings of artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers, including Kasimir Malevitch, Yvonne Rainer, André Breton, among others, to create this impressive work. As a prologue to the text montage unfurled through the following twelve collages, the first episode quotes the Communist Manifesto (1848), by Marx and Engels, which underscores the revolutionary origins of this literary form.

In this immersive work of art, the screens simultaneously loop their individual story, each lasting 10 minutes and 30 seconds and starring the highly versatile Cate Blanchett, who brilliantly takes on a wide variety of characters, including a schoolteacher, a homeless person and a stockbroker. Through Rosefeldt’s work, viewers also discover Berlin, the backdrop tying all these images together with its architectural points of interest and a patchwork of indoor settings, such as a laboratory, a bar and a classroom. In addition to the manifestos’ historical perspectives, Rosefeldt leverages various filming techniques and nods to cinematic classics, such as Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The relevance of these calls to action clearly shines through this work. Often penned by young men, these carefully considered and chosen words reveal both their boldness and vulnerability. The artist chose to have these words spoken by a woman who “conveys these declarations’ performative aspect and political value”, said Lesley Johnstone, Head of Exhibitions and Education and the MAC, and the exhibition’s curator.

Manifesto has been presented in over a dozen cities around the world; its presentation in Montreal will be its second in North America, after the Park Avenue Armory in New York.

Noteworthy

  • In addition to ManifestoJulian Rosefeldt will give a lecture (in English) on Saturday, October 20, at 5:00 p.m., at Concordia University, Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium (H-110), Henry F. Hall Building, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal.

To learn more about other activities and talks at the MAC: https://macm.org/en/activities/

Biography
Born in Munich in 1965, Julian Rosefeldt lives and works in Berlin. Internationally renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving-image artworks, mostly presented as complex multi-screen installations, Rosefeldt’s works are shown at museums and film festivals around the world. Recently, extensive solo shows were held at the Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen (2017) and HOW Art Museum, Shanghai (2017). His works are showcased in several collections, including the Burger Collection Hong Kong, and the collections of Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Saatchi Gallery London, and the Museum of Modern Art New York. Julian Rosefeldt also teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich (digital media, film and video).

Organization
This exhibition is curated by Lesley Johnstone, Head of Exhibitions and Education at the MAC.

Also at the MAC: Françoise Sullivan and Scores
Starting October 20, the MAC will also present Françoise Sullivan, a major retrospective exhibition highlighting the versatility and rigorous journey of this pivotal figure and co-signer of Refus global, now considered among Québec’s first multidisciplinary artists. This exhibition will also be enhanced by an impressive series of unique performances from guest artists inspired by Françoise Sullivan’s work as a choreographer and dancer.

Scores, the third exhibition starting October 20 at the MAC, bridges the two others by combining manifestos and original documents used in Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto installation with Refus global and other manifestos from the dance, conceptual art and performance art scenes across Québec and Canada. Said documents will be presented as a score, through which the ever-renewed clarion call to change the world rings out loud and clear.

Acknowledgments
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The MAC thanks the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, its educational activities partner, as well as National Bank, its museum event and Fondation partner, for their support. The MAC would also like to thank its media partners: La PresseThe Gazette, as well as Cinéma Beaubien and Cinéma du Parc. As part of the Françoise Sullivan exhibition, the MAC would like to thank the La Chapelle theatre and the Centre de création O Vertigo (CCOV) for their support. The MAC would also like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the Goethe-Institut Montreal, whose support made Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto possible. Moreover, as part of Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto, the MAC would like to thank two special partners for their support, namely the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, during which the MAC co-presented Ray and Liz, a Richard Billingham film, on October 6 and 13, 2018, as well as the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), which will be held from November 8 to 18. The MAC and the RIDM will co-present SEGUNDA VEZ (2018), a Dora García film, on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 18, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

Manifesto has been co-commissioned by the ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne, the Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney, the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Sprengel Museum Hanover. The work is co-produced by the Burger Collection Hong Kong and the Ruhrtriennale. It was realized thanks to the generous support of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and in cooperation with Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal makes today’s art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever-growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The MAC presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum’s extensive Permanent Collection. These may feature any and every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the MAC organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond.

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