A respectable mother is saying grace at the table before lunch, while her sons and husband wait impatiently. “I am for an art that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum”, she says. “I am for art which develops holes like socks, which is eaten like a piece of pie.”
The words are from a manifesto by pop artist Claes Oldenburg from 1961. They are intoned by Cate Blanchett, in one of thirteen (!) roles the actress plays in Manifesto, Julian Rosefeldt’s experimental film, for which he draws on the statements of more than fifty artists and thinkers from the twentieth century. This film, derived from Rosefeldt’s multi-screen film installation of the same name, is a tour de force in which leading ideas about art and society are handily presented in twelve parts. The remarkably versatile Blanchett (her roles include a homeless person, a puppeteer, a director and a choreographer) invests the text with freshness and vitality. The witty, entertaining Manifesto is proof that visionary ideas really can be timeless.