press release

BALTIC presents a large-scale video installation comprising nine separate films that examine stereotypical perceptions of immigrants in Western Europe, by German artist Julian Rosefeldt, in Level 3 art space from 7 August – 3 October. Produced as lyrical and visually beautiful pieces, the films are shown together in an extensive walk-through installation that allows the audience to wander through the screens and experience them individually or in groups.

In Asylum, a highly theatrical, almost silent action unfolds on each screen where groups of men and women, cast by the artist as players in scenes of incredible banality, appear to be stuck in cycles of work that are never fulfilled. Their endless tasks seem to have no lasting purpose, and point towards a sense of purposelessness in human activity. The title of the work and categorisation of characters into groups defined by race and gender, give Asylum a poignancy and specificity that a statement about the ultimate absurdity of human endeavour would lack.

Each screen shows a different film sequence with images and sound choreographed to create an emotionally charged experience for the viewer. Rosefeldt’s use of theatricality results in a series of beautifully constructed scenes set in exotic and unusual locations which are never truly identified and which contrast vividly with ideas of deprivation, and therefore serve to emphasise the vulnerability of asylum seekers.

The intrinsic humanity of Asylum is a demonstration of the life enhancing dimension of all human endeavour and of people’s drive to find a secure and decent way of life; the installation is a poetic portrayal of the qualities of those marginalised in western society. The installation is both bold and challenging, and encourages the viewer to explore their own personal response to asylum.

This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by BALTIC and the Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects in collaboration with Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart — Berlin, available from the BALTIC shop at a special exhibition price for the duration of the show.

Asylum is presented by BALTIC in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects and MW Projects. Asylum has been produced with the generous support of the BMW group with additional help from the Bavarian Film Fund, ARRI Film & TV and the Goethe Institut, London. Pressetext

only in german

Julian Rosefeldt: Asylum
Level 3