Asylum , 2017

Julian Rosefeldt

Sinopale 6, “Transposition
curator: Nike Bätzner

The Film 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’.

short film version, shot on Super 16mm and transferred onto PAL, 16:9, 14 min 16 sec