All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
August 13, 2019 11:12 PM   Subscribe

MANIFESTO (2014-2015): Artist Julian Rosefeldt worked with Cate Blanchett to create monumental video installations distilling and interpreting various artistic manifestos - FUTURISM - DADAISM - POP ART- SURREALISM - FLUXUS - CONCEPTUAL ART, and more
posted by The Whelk (15 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Okay, at least some of these are great. (I haven't watched them all yet.) The Dada manifesto as funeral oration, where Blanchett's voice breaks at "Dada is still shit, but from now on...from now on, we want to shit in different colors." is hilarious. (Around the five minute mark in the film.) And then it gets even better when she starts to drone the next bit of "no mores". Love it.

I'm a sucker for art manifestos though so YMMV.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:57 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I was about to post that Blanchett's recent work with Documentary Now might have influenced this, but I see by the dates that it was possibly the other way around.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:04 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Previously
posted by lalochezia at 3:02 AM on August 14


"exploding umbrellas" and a live crow in the living room with all the stuffed animals. That's about all the art I could manage to click through. (in the pop art video)
posted by sammyo at 4:50 AM on August 14


If at all possible, you have to see it as an installation. Each manifesto on its own screen, screens spread around a vast indoor space. At the midpoint of each manifesto, they would all sync up for a few seconds and recite the same monologue. Utterly breathtaking.
posted by whuppy at 4:53 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]


Love all of this, even if I think the Dada one slightly missed its mark (the mourning and anger are there but none of the desperate, last-gasp anarchic fever-dream aspect which is surely absolutely central to Dada).

In the Dada one, that is John Hurt silently holding a tuba while Blanchett gives the oration, isn't it? Kudos, if so.
posted by deeker at 6:37 AM on August 14


I'll echo Gusottertrout - I'm all in when it comes to art manifestos. The crazier the better! I wish I could see these live!
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:24 AM on August 14


even if I think the Dada one slightly missed its mark (the mourning and anger are there but none of the desperate, last-gasp anarchic fever-dream aspect which is surely absolutely central to Dada).

I'd think it almost has to be off the mark a bit to render it in such a normative setting providing a straight forward substitution of a "real" funeral for the dadaist death of art, if matching Dada was its aim. But the dramatization seems perhaps to be more a comment from the distance of time, than an attempt to recapture the moment of the dadaists, quoting Tzara, but maybe sympathizing more with Ball.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:52 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Good point, gusottertrout. Indeed, perhaps any historicisation/aestheticisation - perhaps any representation at all - of Dada would, surely, go against something pretty central to Dada. The violence of representation is close to its most obvious when discussing Dada, I think. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, relevant chapter in my PhD thesis...)

Of course, if it was, to some extent, a funeral, or, rather, if a funeral is a valid metaphor for it, Dada (most especially in Zurich!) wasn't just a funeral for the death of art but, rather, for a whole civilisation - and Dada didn't necessarily (or at least not unproblematically) mourn the passing of Western art or Western civilisation. I think to some extent that does come across in the piece - I just kinda wish that had been more front and centre.

As a representation of the (not only in hindsight?*) historical failure of Dada, its recuperation into the history of art and a subject of aesthetic representation, though, and - as you say - as a comment from the distance of time, as well as a great video, obviously made from a position of love and resect - it's still great stuff.

I suppose what I was saying - and you seem to agree? - is that any commentary on Dada of any type is inherently difficult... (Also, I suppose I was saying I immediately overthought it, another cardinal sin!)

jolifanto bambla o falli bambla!

*I've never been sure many of the participants, particularly Ball, really and fully thought they would succeed on their own (non-)terms, albeit they might not have anticipated the form of its failure.
posted by deeker at 8:43 AM on August 14


CHEAP ART
posted by not_on_display at 8:51 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


These are very pretty and I will steal from them for years to come, but I'm not fancy enough to to care if they achieved their goals or whatnot.
posted by zerolives at 9:08 AM on August 14


As a representation of the (not only in hindsight?*) historical failure of Dada, its recuperation into the history of art and a subject of aesthetic representation, though, and - as you say - as a comment from the distance of time, as well as a great video, obviously made from a position of love and resect - it's still great stuff.

I suppose what I was saying - and you seem to agree? - is that any commentary on Dada of any type is inherently difficult... (Also, I suppose I was saying I immediately overthought it, another cardinal sin!)


Heh. That's pretty much what I was thinking too, or overthinking as you say. Dada loses by winning, which makes it all hard to even try to get one's mind around today given how central Dada and artists like Duchamp are in framing discussions of modern art. Literalizing a funeral, but having Blanchett take the manifesto into such an amusingly varied emotional reading provides a nice open comment on it all I think.

The Pop art is also pretty compelling in a similar way, with its use of browns or earth tones and framing that sets up a counter to the aesthetic values of pop art as its starting point and sets the reading of Claes Oldenburg's piece as a conservative family prayer that both echoes what's being said, but denies it in how and who is saying it contrasted against the art itself. Like the Dada piece, it's both funny and telling in its way, also suggesting the win/loss of the movement once it is accepted, taken up, and used by society.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:26 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]




I've watched most of them now, still a couple to go, and they're all so damn good. Fluxus as a backstage rehearsal, conceptual art as a TV news broadcast, Futurism as a voice over at a stock exchange, Surrealism as a craft video of puppet making, Suprematism as experimental industrial lab, as all of it really pushes the concept of the manifestos towards an extrapolated end idea, but still emphasizes the motivating ideology behind the manifestos as well.

Blanchett is so good with most of them, her voice for Futurism threw me a bit, but the Fluxus one is hiliarious and the news anchor and "live" reporter are spot on. Many thanks for posting these, best thing I've seen in a while. Wish I could have seen them live, but it might be easier to take them in this way.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:12 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


As a personal note re: DADA, I saw these at the Armory like, just after the election - twice, and seeing a huge face scream at me about death kind made me go "yeah okay well time to be a revolutionary"

The futurist one is my favorite. Of source stockbrokers are the real nihilists.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


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