"Stunning. A masterclass in performance." - Jude Dry, INDIEWIRE
Julian Rosefeldt's film Manifesto (2016) pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artistic manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, Dogma 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. Passing the ideas of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, and other creators through his lens, 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 among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into both famous and lesser-known words in unexpected contexts. Rosefeldt's film reveals the performative component and the political significance of these declarations. Often written in youthful rage, they not only express the wish to change the world through art but also reflect the voice of a generation. 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. Can they be applied universally? And how have the dynamics between politics, art and life shifted?