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 (armoryonpark.org), 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.
Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve: 12pm–4pm
Closed Christmas Day
The Manifesto image is © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.