Asylum – Julian Rosefeldt's film installation

9-channel film installation
Asylum, 2001/2002
colour, sound
shot on Super 16mm
converted to PAL SD
aspect ratio 16:9
51 min 58 sec loop

Written, directed and produced by Julian Rosefeldt

In a film installation on nine screens, Asylum (2001/2002), Julian Rosefeldt creates a theatrically stylized and visually rich environment to examine and deconstruct stereotypes associated with immigrants and the very idea of the Other. According to the number of channels, the work deals with nine different ethnic groups or nationalities, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Kosovan-Albanian and Afghan. 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: women with head scarves vacuum-clean a cactus garden; Asian cooks sit in a monkey house, tearing up the Styrofoam packaging of takeaway food; a pile of newspapers that has been stacked and restacked by paperboys is whirled through the air by a giant turbine. 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’.

The installation questions the 'correct aesthetic' in the world of modern art (as an analogy to the concept of 'political correctness'), where an almost journalistic approach is usually the only way to deal with current political issues and social taboo.

Curated by Agnieszka Pindera

Coratorial tours:
27th July at 7 p.m.
21st August at 1 p.m. 

Opening 25 July at 7 p.m.
The exhibition is open every day
till 26 August 2016, 12–8 p.m.

Admission free