The Berlin-based artist Julian Rosefeldt (* 1965) is internationally renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving image artworks, mostly presented as complex multi-screen installations. Inspired equally by the histories of film, art and popular culture, Rosefeldt uses familiar cinematic tropes to carry viewers into surreal, theatrical realms, where the inhabitants are absorbed by the rituals of everyday life, employing humour and satire to seduce audiences into familiar worlds made strange.
DEEP GOLD(2013/2014) is part of the anthology film THE SCORPION'S STING (2013/2014), that was initiated by the artist-duo M+M. Six artists or artist collectives were invited to work on Luis Buñuel’s groundbreaking and at the time scandalous film L'ÂGE D'OR(1930). Based on the original episodes, Tobias Zielony, Chicks On Speed, M+M, Keren Cytter, Julian Rosefeldt and John Bock each reinterpreted one of the six filmic sequences.
Rosefeldt’s part, the black-and-white filmDEEP GOLD, recalls a grotesque version of the ‘Golden Age’. It functions as a fictional insert in Buñuel’s original movie, in which the two protagonists, played by Lya Lys and Gaston Modot, try to fulfil their lust for each other, but are constantly separated or disturbed by various obstacles. Buñuel used the motif of amour fou to criticise the restrictions and conventions of the time: the Catholic Church, the political establishment, the bourgeois morality, the aristocracy, etc. It is the final scene before the epilogue, in particular, that becomes a key moment for Rosefeldt’s project. In the garden of a villa Lya Lys suddenly ignores her hitherto desired Modot and instead kisses an old man. Subsequently, Modot freaks out and starts a crazed action in his room, throwing a priest, a burning Christmas tree, a snowplough and a giraffe out of the window. The surprising fact that Buñuel inL’ÂGE D'ORsets Lya Lys free in her lust and doesn’t bind her desires to Modot, who, quite the opposite, only focusses on her, can be read as a defiant and progressive statement by the Catholic Spanish film maker. DEEP GOLD is being shown at NEUE NATIONALGALERIE in Berlin, Germany as part of the exhibition: THE ART OF SOCIETY. 1900-1945. COLLECTION OF THE NATIONALGALERIE from 22 AUGUST 2021 to 02 JULY 2023.
Collections including Julian Rosefeldt's works, amongst others: Goetz Collection (Munich), Nationalgalerie (Berlin), Sprengel Museum (Hanover), Museum of Modern Art (New York).