The Project

Art. No Borders. Plovdiv 1-30.09.2019

Asylum Film, short version, 14:14 min., 2001/2002. Julian Rosefeldt

With Ayslum Rosefeldt sets up a visually opulent and highly stylised theatrical environment in order to examine and deconstruct the stereotypes associated with immigrant citizens and the idea of "the other".

[…] A hundred and twenty "performers", many of whom are immigrants living in asylum seekers’ hostels, literally "act out" their existence as foreigners by repeatedly executing typical, cliché-ridden jobs in exuberant settings. […] The hypnotically slow motion of the camera, its pendulum-like movement within the picture frame, emphasises the ritualistic and nonsensical aspect of the tasks being performed: its profoundly Sisyphean quality. Always portrayed as homogeneous groups, the performers are stripped of their individuality, thus depicting the way in which people tend to look generically at "the other".

Far from adopting a documentary approach, the artist has constructed subjective and tightly controlled compositions – tableaux vivants, at times reminiscent of traditional fine art, at others playing on pure kitsch. The work questions a compliant ‘aesthetic correctness’ (in analogy to the concept of "political correctness") in the contemporary art world, where an almost journalistic attitude is often seen as the only way of dealing with today’s political hot topics.

Excerpt from the text by Stefan Berg and Katerina Gregos, in: Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works (2008). With the kind permission of Julian Rosefeldt

Julian Rosefeldt

born 1965, lives and works in Berlin / film, video art.

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The event

The annual Week of Contemporary Art in Plovdiv, organized by Art Today Association, is one of the most significant events in the artistic life in Bulgaria.