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Julian Rosefeldt

Julian Rosefeldt
05.24.13 - 06.23.13
Exhibition — Couvent des Jacobins

My home is a dark and cloud-hung land. Extracted pictures from My home is a dark and cloud-hung land, 2011. 4-channel film installation, 30 minutes. © Nicolas Brasseur, Toulouse International Art Festival, 2013.

My home is a dark and cloud-hung land, 2011. 4-channel film installation, 30 minutes. © Nicolas Brasseur, Toulouse International Art Festival, 2013.

My home is a dark and cloud-hung land, 2011. 4-channel film installation, 30 minutes. © Nicolas Brasseur, Toulouse International Art Festival, 2013.

For some ten years now, Julien Rosefeldt has been known for his big multichannel video installations. In the refectory at Les Jacobins he is presenting his most recent film, My home is a dark and cloudhung land, which dwells on a number of archetypes of German culture, centring on the motif of the forest. 

Cinema is at the heart of Julian Rosefeldt’s work. His films are shot on 16 or 35mm film stock and the action is set in meticulously framed location or studio settings, perused by long travelling shots.The issues here are not just aesthetic: the myths and mechanics of cinema are also objects of study for Rosefeldt. For example, one of his most recent films, American Night (2009), thoroughly explores the codes of the Western. In some of his multichannel installations, cinematographic illusion is undermined by simultaneously projecting a given sequence from several different viewpoints, or by showing side by side both the scene and what it is going on off camera. 

The figures directed by Rosefeldt move and struggle in the closed space of "great theatre of the world" — a notion popularised in the 17th century by the Spanish writer Calderón, in whose play Life Is a Dream different levels of reality overlap. With the distance induced by this device, spectators can observe the vain and compulsive actions of beings that the artist describes as "modern Sisyphuses" caught up in the rituals of existence and disarmed by the futility of all things. The ethnic groups of workers in Asylum (2001–2002) are busy with futile tasks whose effect of endless repetition is heightened by the looping of the film. The three figures in Trilogie de l’échec (Trilogy of Failure, 2004) are carried away by the destructive madness of their obsessions. 

The universal theme of the absurdity of human experience runs throughout Rosefeldt’s work, but the grotesque register of his characters evacuates all sense of philosophical gloom. My home is a dark and cloud-hung land was made in 2011 for the exhibition How German Is It? at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. " "Homeland" (in German: "Heimat") was the only thematic framework which was set down. As with any project, I did extensive research at first and came across many things that prove a dichotomous German understanding of nature in terms of the consciousness of national identity. Thus, the landscape was the theme in the beginning, and then the focus soon fell on the forest. Suddenly, the forest motif was omnipresent in German history – from Tacitus’ Germania, the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and the nature cult of the Nazis to the fear of the  "dying
forests" in the 1980s, the modern concept of the "forest kindergarten" and the current impact of the nuclear disaster of Fukushima on German environmental policy. The forest is a constantly recurring motif in the national selfimage of the Germans." * Excerpt from Inside the Hedge Fund Manager’s Head. Interview with Julian Rosefeldt by Robert Seidel, Berlin, February 6, 2012. 

Julian Rosefeldt was born in 1965 at Munich (Germany). He lives and  works in Berlin.Besides participating in numerous international group exhibitions he presented solo shows in galleries and art institutions worldwide, e.g. 2010/11 at DA2 DOMUS ARTIUM 2001, at Salamanca, the BFI London (2010) at the Berlinische Galerie (2010) at the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2009), Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing (2007); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2005), KunstWerke Berlin (2004); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2002); and the Herzliya Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (2001).