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Asylum (3)

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Part 3 of 9-channel film installation
Colour, sound
Shot on Super-16mm, transferred onto DVD
Viewed on Plasma screen only
Aspect ratio 16:9
Loop, 51 min
Edition 3 + 1 ap

With the nine-screen film installation Asylum (2001/2002) Rosefeldt sets up a visually opulent and highly stylised theatrical environment in order to examine and deconstruct the stereotypes associated with immigrant citizens and the 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’.
    Far from adopting a documentary approach, the artist has constructed subjective and tightly controlled compositions – tableaux vivants, at times reminiscent of traditional fine art, at others playing on pure kitsch. The work questions a compliant ‘aesthetic correctness’ (in analogy to the concept of ‘political correctness’) in the contemporary art world, where an almost journalistic attitude is often seen as the only way of dealing with today’s political hot topics.

Summarised from Stefan Berg and Katerina Gregos, in: Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works (2008)

Exhibitions / Catalogues

(for exhibition history of the 9-channel installation see respective subfolder)


Berg, Stephan, et al., eds. Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works. Ostfildern, 2008.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, ed. Julian Rosefeldt: asylum. Exh. cat. Festival d’Avignon et al. Ostfildern, 2004.

Film Credits

Niroshan Danwatte Liyanage, Sarath Danwatte, Sebamalai Fernando Warnakulasuriya, Ruchira Perera, Lutfor Shaik, Katta Bhasker, Vusthla Sunil Reddy, Varatharajah Kishore, Ravichandran Srinivasan, Don Dhanapala Kijayaweera, Hetti Arachchige Wickramaratne, Vangala Madhusudhan Reddy, Siva Rama Guduguntla, Dorshama Tayaratne, Tagutta Draveen Kumar, Deepak Ross Savarianandam, Helmut Karimi, Askin Aydogan, Cemalettin Köse, Ibrahim Halil Arikan, Osman Türk, Hasan Iscen, Hüseyin Öztürk, Asis Khan Schinwar, Tochti Jurat, Mohammed Zadran, Raymond Todjro, Yomi Otubushin, Koffi Lack, Mohamem Wattara, Kossi Djigbodi Liggie, Latif Conombo, Rafiom Affo, Traore Tintini Assafou, Dan-Nitse Toure, Edwin Neth Agbonaye, Dossou Akakpo, Pascal Ouoba, Savi Frido, Kossi Bruno Sossou, Kossi Dodzi Yenkey, Amanda Wittmann, Katharina Wittmann, Monika Wittmann, Ramona Wittmann, Hanife Rama, Jzedije Rama, Kadrije Rama, Sagjide Rama, Shkurte Rama, Karin Weiss, Mandarina Petermann, Auguste Michel, Dajana Michel, Frieda Michel, Marcella Michel, Uta Horstmann, Anezka Bamberger, Liane Glaser, Adelheid Kara, Freidun Hmarchel, Zied Attia, Fwaz Al-Kadrie, Mohammed Al-Kadrie, Wisam Salem Hanna, Haschem Hussein Ali, Zakaria Mohamad Hassan, Ali Eldarwisch, David Scharfenberg, Mohammad Akbar Akbari, Kamel Jassem, Wondwossen Adamsezed, Dinalva Dos Santos, Sayuri Scheiffele, Ivana Dolores Machado Lutz, Dschijo Schwarz, Geisa Sousa, Iriet Yusuf, Marisel Wittmann, Sylvie Dos Santos, Merqui Suero, Yessenia Suero, Michelle Erfling, Huy Nguyen, Aigerim Weimer, Kim Qui Hoang, Cat Le Van, Qui Hoang Phuong Truong, Long Duong Van, Hariaokto Hooputra, Nhât Thanh Tran, Trung Hung, Vincent Forberger, Trong Nguyen Khoi Dinh, Long Le Thanh, Duc Phuong Do, Manh Nam Nguyen, Kim-Hung Tran, Hamide Cakolli, Ban Hussein, Gjula Demiri, Merita Demiri, Lindita Hyseni, Shukrije Hyseni, Violeta Hyseni, Feriole Krosnigi, Rexhije Paloj, Ajshe Slamniku, Ge Wei, Yining Li, Yi Yang, Jun Wei Guo, Bin Zhao, Zeng Lin Chen, Ping Chen, Xu Zhou, Wulin Chen, Wei Wang, Baowen Yu,
Yingding Wang

Production Manager: Michael Holzinger
1st Assistant Director: David Scharfenberg
Set Manager: Nina Erfle
Director of Photography: Simon Wieland
Costume Designer: Claudia Maria Braun
Make-up Artist: Nikki Bauer
Camera Operator: Angelika Huber
Focus Puller: Sebastian Bäumler
Assistant Executive Producer: Sabine Hochmuth
Wardrobe Supervisor: Tanja Hauber
Set Dresser: Astrid Weinert
Gaffer: Fred Dombrowka
Electricians: Florian Schneider, Florian Berndt, Mirko Friebel, Felix Rausch
Key Grip: Thomas Pieger
Key Grip Assistant: Alexander Hermann
Casting Director: Valeska Doll
Casting: Nina Erfle, Sabine Hochmuth, Claudia Seelmann, Katrin Beck, Sybille Rosefeldt, Gundula Rosefeldt
Steadycam-Operator: Ralf Dangschat
Set Photographer: Philip Metz
Driver / Best Boy: Maximilian Reiß
Catering: Michael Janosch

Editor: Nicholas Goodwin
Sound Supervisor, Re-recording: Tschangis Chahrokh-Zadeh
Foley Artist: Felix Kratzer
Sound Editor: Bernie Maurer
Postproduction: Arri Film & TV
Project Manager: ArriMarkus Kirsch
Telecine: Stefan Andermann
Colorist: Traudl Nicholson
Online Editing Avid Symphony: Tatjana Schröter
Choir: Madrigalchor der Hochschule für Musik und Theater in München / Prof. Max Frey
Choir Singers: Regina Magerl, Carmen Fiedler, Josepha Hanner, Hildegard Schön, Sandra Schmelzer, Michaela Schneider, Tobias Rottmann, Sebastian Adelhardt, Christoph Liebl, Dominik Lidl, Stefan Grünfelder, Bernhard Zink
Choir Recording: Christian Böhm
Choir Composed by: Tobias & Julian Rosefeldt

Camera, Light & Grip Supplier: Arri Film & TV
Processing & Telecine: Arri Film & TV
Insurance: A. Huber & Co.
Transport: Medias Reiseservice GmbH
Film Stock: Fuji Kine Film Vetriebsges. mbH
Kodak GmbH

Supported by:
FFF FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
BMW Group

Shot in Munich, 2001

Written, directed and produced by Julian Rosefeldt

All rights reserved © Julian Rosefeldt

Film & Video Works / Asylum, 2001/2002 / Asylum (3)