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The Shift, 2008

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The Shift

4-channel film installation
Colour, sound
Shot on Super 16mm
Converted to PAL SD and transferred onto DVD
Aspect ratio 16:9
Loop, 16 min 36 sec (1 h 6 min 24 sec loop in total)
Edition 6 + 2 ap

The four-channel film installation The Shift (2008) recalls Rosefeldt’s early inquiries into hidden and forgotten spaces. Once again the protagonist is a lonely wanderer who moves slowly through a science-fiction setting, a giant network of tunnels and various control rooms filled with outdated technology. By changing his clothes he slips into four different roles – a janitor, a security agent, a scientist and a sewage worker – and yet his character does not change. He remains a Cerberus, taking care of an engineered and machine-run environment which long ago started working autonomously, without the need of human interference. References to science-fiction classics such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 – A Space Odyssey and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris are evident both in image and sound – as, for instance, when the protagonist steps out of a star gate into a white, icy desert. Eventually what appeared to be an exit from this closed and claustrophobic circuit turns out to be just another inhospitable landscape, and a metaphor for solitude. The film loop continues and the roaming man appears again, dressed differently, starting over his daily routine.

The Shift was originally produced as a prologue for the theatre play The City / The Cut (written by Martin Crimp / Mark Ravenhill), directed by Thomas Ostermeier at the Berliner Schaubuehne in 2008. The work speaks of the growing isolation of human beings driven by the increasing impact of technics and media, as well as of their alienation from nature. The installation draws a melancholic picture of what people once enthusiastically hoped would be the better future.

L. Korndörfer

Exhibitions / Catalogues

– Julian Rosefeldt – American Night
, Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich, September–October 2012
– Julian Rosefeldt – World-Making. Film and Photo Works 2001–2011,
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, April–June 2012
   (curated by Mei-ching Fang, Fang-wei Chang; catalogue)
Julian Rosefeldt – Making Of. Film Installations and Photo Works 2004–2010, DA2 – Domus Artium, Salamanca,
   October 2010–March 2011 (curated by Javier Panera)
Julian Rosefeldt – Living in Oblivion, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, May–October 2010 (curated by
   Guido Fassbender, Heinz Stahlhut; catalogue)
Star Voyager, ACMI Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, September 2011–January 2012
   (curated by Emma McRae, Sarah Tutton; catalogue)
Leichtigkeit und Enthusiasmus. Junge Kunst und die Moderne, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, June–October 2009
   (curated by Annelie Lütgens, Barbara Kirschner; catalogue)

Film Credits

Wolfgang Stein (Janitor, Security Agent, Scientist, Sewage Worker)

Director of Photography: Christoph Krauss
Production Managers: Sandi Knape, Wassili Zygouris
Production Designer: Sven Geßner
Costume Designer: Almut Eppinger

Steadicam Operator: Sergio Gazzera
Assistant Director of Photography: Frederik Tegethoff
2nd Assistant Director of Photography: Niklas Hoffmann
Gaffer: Oliver Mehlis
Electricians: Niko Mölter, Christof Stammberger, Matthias Pilz, Adrian Balladore
Crane Operator/Key Grips: Orlando Grübel

Assistant Editor: Arturo Martinez
Sound Design/Sound Editors: Florian Kühnle, Markus Stemler, Sebastian Melichar
Foley Artist: Felix Kratzer
Sound Recording: Jacob Ilgner
Sound Mixing: Christoph Andrich

Assistent Production Manager: Valeria Schwarz
Assistant Production Designer: Andreas Liebig
French Horn: Gisbert Näther
Set Photography: Benedikt Partenheimer

Compositing: PICTORION – das werk Berlin GmbH

Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Thomas Ostermeier, Tobias Veit, Friedrich Barner, PICTORION – das werk Berlin GmbH, Arri Rental Berlin, Arri Schwarzfilm Berlin GmbH, Studio Hanse Warns, Tonbüro GmbH, Kodak Berlin GmbH, Medias Reiseservice GmbH, Agentur Iris Müller, A Huber & Co Internationale Assekuranz Makler GmbH, Maritim Hotel Gelsenkirchen, Martin Neander, ICC Berlin, Messe Berlin GmbH, Olympiastadion Berlin GmbH, Krematorium Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Förderband Kulturinitiative Berlin, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Philologische Bibliothek der Freien Universität Berlin, Umspannwerk Humboldt, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, MARUM – Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften, Bremen, CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research, Erlebnisbergwerk Sondershausen, Forschungszentrum Jülich, AC Serendip Ltd, Tippin Corporation, Vattenfall Europe Transmission GmbH, Entwicklungsgesellschaft Zollverein mbH, Stiftung Industriedenkmalpflege und Geschichtskultur, Essen, EADS Astrium GmbH Bremen, Flughafen Bremen GmbH, Flughafen Tempelhof

Co-produced by:
Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin

Shot in Germany and Switzerland, 2008

Written, directed and produced by Julian Rosefeldt

All rights reserved © Julian Rosefeldt

Film & Video Works / The Shift, 2008