I don’t write about art often enough, but I do need to write about this one, although plenty of articles about it are already out and the exhibition is constantly filled with people. However, you also need to see it: Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto installation at Hamburger Bahnhof.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the opening, so I went on a Tuesday afternoon to have time and space to enjoy the 130 minutes in total. It consists of 13 movies, all of them staring Cate Blanchett in 13 different roles. And that’s all I want to tell you about the content of this work – although you can read up on it all over the press – but there’s no need to. The films and especially Blanchett’s performance will convince you to stay. And it’s actually nicer to not know too much, to wander through the big hall without already having read about how the work was made and what’s it about. You will find out, and you won’t be bored or tempted to leave earlier, because it’s so appealing and will lure you in.
It’s not only the impeccable filming, the amazing attention to detail, may it be regarding the hair and make-up, or the scenography, it’s definitely Blanchett’s allure – her playing the lead, her pronunciation, her expression and her eyes. Supporting star is Berlin, represented by its known and unknown places, all of them impressive in their architecture – from the famous Teufelsberg ruins to a most formidable mansion overlooking what I think is Wannsee.
Blanchett’s ability to play these very different roles and still give them something of her own, marvelous elegance – as a choreographer, factory worker or puppeteer – is irresistible, and bestows the spoken words new layers of meaning, apart from them being put in a contemporary context divided by class affiliation. You see, much to experience.
Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto, 10. Februar – 10. Juli 2016
Entry: 8 Euro