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Global Soap, 2000/2001

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Global Soap
4-channel video installation
Colour, sound
Aspect ratio 4:3
Loop, 22 min
Edition 6 + 2 ap

With Global Soap (2000/2001) Julian Rosefeldt developed a collection of gestures and figure constellations from soap operas that refers to the image atlas Mnemosyne by Aby Warburg. While the German art historian and establisher of the method of Iconography already included image material not deriving from the high-culture context, Rosefeldt focusses exclusively on cultural trash that is mirrored in the work’s low-end aesthetic.

The artist filed and combined motifs and scenes from various international soap operas according to an self-created inventory. In about 300 terms Rosefeldt’s atlas summarises archetypical situations that can be found in almost all television series despite country of origin, or social and political background. The artist was supported by Goethe Institutes from all over the world, which provided him with recordings of their national TV programmes. In Global Soap Rosefeldt uncovers stereotype structures of soap operas and stylises their protagonists into the ‘new icons of the media age’ (M. Heinzelmann). In the course of an increasing archival activity at the end of the twentieth century, he evaluates the necessity of saving cultural products outside the art canon.

Summarised from Wolfgang Ernst and Markus Heinzelmann, in: Julian Rosefeldt: Global Soap (2001)

All rights reserved © Julian Rosefeldt

Exhibitions / Catalogues

Julian Rosefeldt: Works 2001 – 2016, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, March–May 2017 (curated by Helene Nyborg)
– The Order of Things, MuKHA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, September 2008–January 2009 (curated by Dieter Roelstraete)
Variable Capital, The Bluecoat, Liverpool, May–June 2008 (curated by David Campbell, Mark Durden; catalogue)
Melodrama, Artium – Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, April–September 2002;
   Centro José Guerrero, Granada, October 2002–January 2003; MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, March–June 2003
   (curated by Doreet LeVitte Harten; catalogue)
Julian Rosefeldt: Global Soap, XXL Gallery, Sofia, April 2002 (curated by Ivan Kiuranov, Clemens-Peter Haase)
Tele[visions] – Kunst sieht fern, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, October 2001–January 2002 (curated by Joshua Dector, Gabriele Mackert;
Global Soap, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, July–August 2001 (curated by Luminita Sabau, Christoph Tannert)
Julian Rosefeldt: Global Soap, Goethe-Institut, Salvador de Bahia, May–July 2001 (curated by Peter Anders)
Julian Rosefeldt: Global Soap, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, March–April 2001 (curated by Dalia Levin, Hans Jürgen Nagel)
Multiple Sensations: Series, Collections, Obsessions, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, August–October 2000
   (curated by René de Guzman)
Julian Rosefeldt – Global Soap, Sammlung Hoffmann artist-in-residence studio, Berlin, May 2000
Julian Rosefeldt – Global Soap / Piero Steinle – Ekstase, Rotunde Siemens Kulturprogramm, May–July 2000
   (curated by Markus Heinzelmann; catalogue)

Film & Video Works / Global Soap, 2000/2001