Category: Manifesto

Manifesto – Cate Blanchett Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before

Manifesto – Cate Blanchett Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before

Good evening! Cate Blanchett talks with Vogue in a new promotional interview for Manifesto. Enjoy!

When Cate Blanchett agreed to star in German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, she had no idea how many roles she was taking on. “Originally, I thought I would play about four characters. Julian thought I would play about 24. The two of us agreed to meet somewhere in between – but I have a terrible memory, and when I arrived in Berlin to start filming, I was convinced that it was nine when it was 13,” she says, perched on a couch with Rosefeldt in a suite at the Haymarket Hotel near Trafalgar Square. Not that the lack of preparation time seems to have fazed the Oscar winner. “The reality of acting is that you can do all of the homework in the world for a part – but my relationship with performance is much more circus-like. I have to jump into someone’s hands. They have to catch me at the right moment. Otherwise, there’s no trapeze act.”
And what a trapeze act. In Manifesto, Blanchett embodies a homeless man pushing a shopping cart through a post-apocalyptic landscape; a glossy American newscaster (and the rain-beaten weather person she is interviewing); a Southern housewife reading grace around a dinner table to her husband and children; a puppeteer manipulating a doll-like version of herself; a funeral attendee delivering a tearful speech in a graveyard – among several other personas. Each one voices a text collage derived from a selection of more than 50 manifestos – from Karl Marx’s communist treatise to Lars von Trier’s “Dogme 95”. Originally displayed as vignettes at 13 galleries around the world, the character studies have now been rolled into an extraordinary 90-minute film available to download or stream.
The avant-garde masterpiece was years in the making. Blanchett first met Rosefeldt at a gallery in Berlin in 2010, deciding to work with him on a project that same night – but it was only in 2014 that Rosefeldt found the right concept. “I had read lots of artistic and political manifestos when I was studying – but I forgot about them until I came across works by the Futurist poet and choreographer Valentine de Saint-Point,” he explains. “Then I started exploring other manifestos for a variety of movements: Surrealism, Creationism, Vorticism, Dadaism, Minimalism…I had always seen those texts as works of history – but imagining Cate performing them suddenly brought them to life.”
A few months later, he had a series of monologues and a rough character sketch to go with each one – all of which he carefully refined with Blanchett over a few days in New York. Her initial response to the scripts? “I was attracted to Julian’s work because of the quietness – and then he came up with the polar opposite of a silent film,” she laughs. “I was rather distressed, but, you know, I’d already said yes.” As for whether she was nervous about taking on such an unusual project? “The amount of text was nerve-wracking. I’ve never been an exhibitionist, and this required me to push myself to the limit – but I’ve never been afraid of failing. I do it constantly!”

via Vogue UK

Manifesto – Radio interview and infos about Canadian exhibition

Manifesto – Radio interview and infos about Canadian exhibition

Good evening! Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt speak with BBC Radio 4, during Front Row. The interview aired yesterday, and the presenter relased a picture as well.


Interview starts around 11:49. Enjoy!

We previously announced the Manifesto’s exhibition is going to be expose in Montreal in 2018. The Konig Galerie revealed the exact time frame:
JULIAN ROSEFELDT | MANIFESTO
MUSÉE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN DE MONTRÉAL, MONTRÉAL, CA | 17.10.2018–21.1.2019

Manifesto – Promotional interview

Manifesto – Promotional interview

Hello! Cate and director Julian Rosefeldt where recently interviewed during London Film Festival. Cate mainly talks about Manifesto, but she also mentions Thor: Ragnarok in the end. Full interview here. Enjoy!

Cate Blanchett: artists are being silenced
A news anchor, a widow, a bearded drunk … Cate Blanchett’s new film sees the actor take on 13 personas in a script cribbed from 50 revolutionary texts. She and director Julian Rosefeldt explain why Manifesto is an artistic call to arms in the age of Trump.

Here’s Cate Blanchett as you’ve never seen her before: as a bearded old man pulling a shopping cart through a post-industrial wasteland. In a drunken Scottish accent he/she proclaims: “We glorify the revolution aloud as the only engine of life. We glorify the vibrations of the inventors young and strong. They carry the flaming torch of the revolution!” Now Blanchett is a grieving widow telling a funeral congregation, “to lick the penumbra and float in the big mouth filled with honey and excrement”. Now she’s an American news anchor in the studio, talking to a reporter standing in the rain under an umbrella. The reporter is also Blanchett. “Well Cate, perhaps this could all be dealt with if man was not facing a black hole,” she tells her other self. Now she’s a 1950s mother, clasping her hands in prayer before the Thanksgiving family dinner: “I am for art that comes out of a chimney like black hair and scatters in the sky,” she murmurs, as the children eye the turkey hungrily.

These are not clips from the two-time Oscar-winning actor’s showreel; this is Manifesto, originally a multi-screen gallery installation, now an unclassifiable feature directed by German artist and film-maker Julian Rosefeldt. The script is collaged from more than 50 artists’ manifestos from the past century, and recited by 13 different Blanchetts.

Today, the actor is in another persona – different from any of her characters in the film, or any previous roles. Certainly different from her current turn as a green-screen-chewing, emo-styled goddess of destruction in Thor: Ragnarok. This is Blanchett as artistic collaborator. Sipping tea alongside Rosefeldt in a London hotel suite, discussing big ideas in overlapping sentences, they are an articulate double act.

“Well the first thing is: is it a film?” Blanchett begins.

“She keeps asking that,” says Rosefeldt.

“The amazing thing,” Blanchett continues, “is that there are all these assertions of debasing and debunking and destroying what comes before in order to create this fundamental moment of unique artistic expression, but in performing, you’re struck by the similarities between these manifestos: the rhythmic similarities, the energetic similarities and just the intellectual attack.”

Rosefeldt takes up her point: “There’s a lot of ‘down with this’ and ‘to hell with that’. They definitely want to break with structures. Many of them were written when they were just 20 or 21 years old. We now look at these as texts by world famous artists but at the time, often the artwork wasn’t even there yet. They were just angry young people.”

Blanchett continues: “But you know, what I admire, whether or not there are certain things in the manifestos that I might find personally repugnant, there’s something brave and noble about having the courage to commit to something. I think the artist understands that you have to invest in something, absolutely.”

Blanchett certainly invests here. They shot Manifesto in just 11 days on locations in and around Berlin, which often meant playing being, say, the old Scottish man in the morning and the newsreader in the afternoon, then preparing the next days’ accents in the hotel room in the evening. Even simply learning all her lines was a challenge, she says. They got by with the help of a voiceover, hidden smartphones, earpieces and giant cue cards. Still, there are sizable tracts Blanchett addresses straight to camera. Often they only had time to do one extended take.

She seems to have enjoyed the change of pace: “I always work best – which is why I love theatre – where it’s just: ‘The audience is there. It doesn’t matter whether I feel like doing this or not. I’ve just got to do it.’ It’s got the adrenaline of standup.”

The political landscape has shifted towards populism and against “elitism”, Rosefeldt suggests, which puts topics such as art history in the firing line. “Every populist wants to cut down cultural budgets and educational budgets for a good reason: because they need stupid minds to be manipulated and to become sheep of consumerism.”

Blanchett agrees: “It’s that notion of ‘elitism’, provocative ideas being the domain of the educated, and keeping those ideas separate from the people who they’re trying to keep uneducated and disenfranchised. This is why artists’ voices are being taken away, and the social and political discourse we’re dealing with at the moment is so utterly simplistic.

“As much as Manifesto is about the role of the artist, I think it also asks, ‘What’s the role of the audience?’ Often their attention span is underestimated, and if you’re constantly shooting below the intelligence or the capability of an audience then the work gets thinner and thinner.”

So how does she square that with appearing in Thor: Ragnarok?

She laughs. “Yeah. All things are an experiment, aren’t they? If you know the outcome then why do it really? There’s got to be an element of risk and fun and fuck-up. That’s what keeps me energised: involvement in projects of different scale and ambition.”

Is there a certain dissonance between, let’s say, Manifesto Blanchett and Thor Blanchett?

“Well, I haven’t done that many effects movies, believe it or not,” she insists. “I went in as wide-eyed and bushy tailed to [Thor] as I did into this. And also, it shouldn’t be thus, but I felt like I was speaking to different audiences.”

Perhaps she’s channelling Tristan Tzara’s Dada Manifesto: “I write this manifesto to show that people can perform contrary actions together while taking one fresh gulp of air.”

In Dadaist spirit, then, Manifesto acknowledges and celebrates contradiction, which is another way of saying it has its cake and eats it. It can be appreciated as a representation of challenging ideas and ideals, or as a surreally entertaining one-woman sketch show that might just expose audiences to some provocative ideas, maybe even inspire them to write their own manifesto.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the notion of a manifesto, it’s an effort to engage,” says Blanchett. “It’s an encouragement. It’s about something.”

Rosefeldt concurs: “Something that started as a love declaration to these writings has almost bcome a call for action. You feel like it’s time for action again.”

New Interview: Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt on Manifesto

New Interview: Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt on Manifesto

Hey everyone!

Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt talked to Evening Standard about how artistic thought can survive the digital age. Their film Manifesto is being screened live from Tate Modern (UK) tonight. Enjoy the reading!

Here’s why Cate Blanchett thinks we should all write a manifesto

“You are all idiots,” Cate Blanchett says to a funeral full of mourners.

She hasn’t actually gatecrashed a memorial to the dearly departed. These are the words of Tristan Tzara, a founding figure of the Dada movement, and Blanchett is in one of the 13 personas she inhabits in Julian Rosefeldt’s film, Manifesto.

In just over 90 minutes, the Australian actress delivers manifestos of over 50 artists and thinkers, peerlessly manifesting herself to become a homeless man, a tattooed punk, a scientist and a Russian choreographer. The two-time Academy award winner collaborated with German artist Rosefeldt, known for his opulent video installations, to trace a lively history of artistic thought.

It makes for a passionate tribute to the tradition of manifesto writing, and a clarion call to contemporary creatives to really, really think. It also makes for a very intense watch. When I met Blanchett and Rosefeldt to discuss the film, she told me that after making it “I thought my head was going to explode.”

As a duo, they are refreshing company. They have a habit of seamlessly passing a thought between them as they push it further and further, and playfully pass questions on to each other (“That one’s yours!” “No, that’s yours!”). It’s easy to see how they could end up making such a rich and challenging piece of work together.

Manifesto – initially made as a multi-screen art installation in 2015 before being made into a feature film – has been created with the apparatus of digital technology, and yet it’s largely concerned with pre-digital age thinking. It’s a fitting contradiction for a form of writing which is full of them: destruction pitted against creation, arrogance next to insecurity, the future against the past.

“Manifestos are about assembling the past and spitting it out, being presently engaged and asserting what the future could possibly hold,” Blanchett tells me. “It’s a call to engagement.”

There’s the adversarial aspect too, Rosefeldt adds. “There’s a lot of ‘down with’, ‘down with’, ‘down with’. There’s a lot of anger in it definitely, but I’d also say there’s a lot of insecurity and fragility in it too.”

Many of the artists, from Wyndham Lewis to Andre Breton, were very young at the time of writing, which “makes them even more beautiful to read,” Rosefeldt says. “The fragility beautifully balances the anger, and the security of ‘I know exactly how the world should be’ and ‘down with the past’ and ‘let’s see what the future brings’.”

These writers weren’t even particularly interested in the future, Rosefeldt says – it was about changing things right now. Our particular here and now happens to be very much at odds with the conditions in which many of these manifestos were created.

“I wonder, what does the blogosphere leave room for in terms of an artist’s manifesto?” Blanchett asks. “Because we’re constantly asserting what we think and what we feel – and doing very little. Whereas these artists were actually making work prior to the manifesto. They went on to become extraordinarily influential pillars of what we now know to be various stages of modern art. They didn’t put out a manifesto every second Wednesday.”

But Blanchett doesn’t think it’s just the relentless bombardments of social media that are troubling, but the fact that it requires no action from us. She names Snapchat as another medium that removes accountability, “You say things, then they disappear and you don’t have to answer for them. People can say outrageous things and say ‘but I didn’t mean that, I didn’t say that’.”

Rosefeldt agrees, and adds that these endless outlets for expression aren’t actually very good at helping people express themselves. “You drop off a word here, a word there – so you are constantly getting rid of energy. For these early manifestos, that wasn’t the case – people were piling up a lot of energy until there was an outburst. And a manifesto needs that. It’s not something that somebody invites you to do.”

Writing a manifesto – words like “to the electric chair with Chopin!” (Manuel Maples Arce, 1921) – is something you do “because you have to do it,” Rosefeldt says. “Many of the texts for me are more of a self-declaration, or an effort to explain yourself – ‘where do I stand now? What do I wanna do? What do I wanna break with?’”

Yet now, Rosefeldt argues, the search for self-expression too quickly becomes the curation of a personal brand, with the vanity of immediate online feedback discouraging serious thought. “You tweet something out and it’s, ‘yeah! Finally somebody says it!” Rosefeldt says. “That’s very dangerous because it encourages you not to think it through and come up with stupid silly nonsense.”

The fast pace of digital platforms has given Manifesto a different meaning in the last two years, Rosefeldt thinks, a change he has observed in post-screening Q&As. People are keener to talk, to get involved again and not give up.

But he concedes that the art world is “a very closed circuit of well-educated people who don’t really need to be convinced of something.” It clearly troubles him; he describes it as “a kind of prison”.

Blanchett combats the idea that it’s the artists themselves who are the elitists. “It’s always talked about like, ‘you don’t have access to that therefore anyone who does is an elitist. It’s not – there’s something wrong with the structure of the education system, not the people making the work.”

The idea that many of society’s problems could be solved by offering equal access to education is something Blanchett and Rosefeldt are in passionate agreement about. “All museums should be free,” Blanchett firmly says.

“Some people walk into a cathedral, not because they’re particularly religious, but because they just want a breath. They want space to think a longer thought,” Blanchett says. “What these manifestos allow you to do is think these longer provocations, and that’s what often happens in a museum or an art gallery. It’s often the only time people can step outside of what they’re doing to think a longer thought.” In our information-rich age, where we are constantly bombarded by notifications and Netflix series’, who would have time enough to reflect on their own artistic manifesto?

In her 1997 book I Love Dick – which Rosefeldt’s wife is reading and Blanchett immediately notes the title of down on her phone – Chris Kraus questions the notion of authorhood. “Who gets to speak and why? That is the only question,” she writes. The question returns upon watching Manifesto; although it is Blanchett speaking the words, the majority of them were written by men.

The dissonance of character, setting and text, of a female face speaking male assertions on art “produces a particular tension and invites that question, I think,” Blanchett offers.

?“One of the most currently provocative thoughts said by any of the characters in any iterations of the manifestos is by a woman,” Blanchett adds. It’s Mierle Laderman Ukeles, writing in 1969: ‘After the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?’

So what is an artist or writer to do, today, trying to spark thought but short circuited by scrolling through social media?

“I wish there would be more risking of ideas, as in these texts,” Rosefeldt says. “That’s why I believe in the inspiring character of these texts. They spark ideas. They show you how inspiring an intellectual discourse even with yourself can be, bringing back the importance of creativity and intellect and public discourse in a political landscape which is definitely lacking that.”

“As an artist it’s really important about what you choose to do and how you engage. Nothing is inconsequential,” Blanchett adds.

And anyway, as Jim Jarmusch wrote in 2002 and is quoted in the film, “Nothing is original”.

Blanchett replies quickly. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bother!”

Manifesto is released in UK cinemas on November 24.

via Evening Standard

Manifesto will tour China for the 5th Festival of German Cinema

Manifesto will tour China for the 5th Festival of German Cinema

Good afternoon! The 5th Festival of German Cinema is about to open its tour in several chinese cities, with multiple screenings of various movies, including Manifesto. According to the program, available online here, the movie will stop in Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzen and Nanjing. Detailed infos here.
The complete installation is touring China as well: at the HOW Art Museum of Shangai, until the end of the year. Don’t miss it!

Manifesto’s installation opens in New Zealand

Manifesto’s installation opens in New Zealand

Hello! The Auckland Art Gallery “Toi O Tamaki” will host Manifesto, in its complete version, from January 24 to June 10, 2018. More infos here.

A quick reminder: Manifesto, in the movie version will stream live (UK only) from the Tate Modern Museum on November 15.

Manifesto: Live from Tate Modern is a special live event filmed at Tate Modern and broadcast via satellite to cinemas nationwide. It will include an introduction from Cate Blanchett featuring artworks in the Tate Modern’s collection related to the film, a screening of the film, plus live on-stage conversation at the gallery with the film’s director, Julian Rosenfeldt and editor Bobby Good.

A new set of screenings is coming, starting tomorrow in Moscow, then Gdansk and Frankfurt. The movie will be released in Mexico on November 10, while the movie is still screened in Italian and Dutch cinemas.

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