Great Cate Makes an Arty Date

Saturday, December 10, 2016
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Dada. Situationism. Fluxism. Futurism. POPism. Minimalism. Surrealism. Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto, starring the stirring, hauntingly lovely Australian actress-chameleon Cate Blanchett, which opened this week at the Park Avenue Armory (, and runs through January 8, takes on all those -isms and more, in a breathtaking, mind-bending, multi-disciplinary installation combining literature, art, film, theater and (don't be afraid) philosophy. It's a holiday season must-see.

Inside the Armory's massive drill hall, on thirteen strategically-placed screens, Blanchett, in HD video, plays a baker's dozen of characters, declaiming monologues on art, creativity, politics and life, from manifestos written by filmmakers, artists, dancers, architects and thinkers, among them Karl Marx, André Breton, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Claes Oldenburg and Jim Jarmusch in eleven-minute loops that sometimes synchronize, briefly transforming each of the intimate, open individual theaters (a single bench before each screen provides minimal seating), into a communal event. Whether your taste tends towards the arty or you just want money-on-the-screen, the two-hour spectacle satisfies.

At times thoughtful, silly, elegaic, and laugh-out-loud funny, it's a perfect example of the sort of creative work the Armory was revived to present and celebrate.

Installation Hours:
Monday–Wednesday: 12pm–8pm
Thursday–Saturday: 12pm–12am
Sunday: 12pm–7pm
Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve: 12pm–4pm
Closed Christmas Day

The Manifesto image is © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

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by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Billy Farrall