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Milk (video installation)

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Live performance with 3-channel video installation and 3 performers as a result of a two-week workshop
with Louise Peterhoff, Vania Rovisco, Benoît Gob
Colour, sound
Shot on DV (P+S mini 35 digital adapter)
Aspect ratio 16:9
1 h 22 min 55 sec


Milk (2007) is Rosefeldt's multidimensional performative installation in which the artist exposes once more the paradoxical image of the human machine. Building on ideas exploited in Trilogy of Failure (2004/2005), in which each of Rosefeldt's protagonists are caught up in Sisyphean activities, Milk playfully exacerbates the stereotypical rituals of a farmer’s routine to a nonsensical end. Thus, Rosefeldt's choice of dancers as the three protagonists underlines the daily choreography of automated gestures present in various farming procedures. Commissioned by the French/German TV channel ARTE, with the aim of uniting visual and performing artists, Milk is a work in progress: the result of a two-week collaboration at a farmhouse in Normandy for a performance at the Temps d'Images festival in Paris, 2007. A 3-channel video installation of the exaggerated rituals provides the backdrop for a live performance, in which the same dancers hang out amongst the hay-strewn stage in a Waiting for Godot-like manner. Guest musicians join the ensemble in a live performance, creating a multisensory experience to highlight the humdrum of everyday labour which we are accustomed to and subconsciously bound.

Similar to many of Rosefeldt's works, his persistence with familiarity is drawn out in the filmed element; the long camera takes echo the already tedious work, luring the viewer into the mechanisms of the tasks at hand. In each scene, sound dominates language, heightening the actions until bizarre twists – both subtle and sudden – play with our expectations and disturb the hypnotic ritualism. Drawing from the comedic value of everyday futility, Rosefeldt's employment of hyperbole pushes the boundaries with a departure into the absurd.

The title directly refers to the result of one laborious, repetitive activity laid bare in the performance: milk, the first product we ever consume. The performers' endless endeavours symbolise our continuous consumption and ultimately, their – or our own – struggle to break out of the norm.

Milk was performed by Louise Peterhoff, Benoît Gob (at the time both part of Jan Lauwers & Needcompany) and Vania Rovisco (former member of Damaged Goods / Meg Stuart). A guitar player delivered the live score for the performance at Temps d’Images in Paris. Jochen Arbeit of Einstürzende Neubauten created the live soundtrack for Milk at Tanzhaus NRW in Düsseldorf in collaboration with Vânya Rovisco.


E. Lapper




– Milk, Temps d'Images Festival, Paris, 2007

– Milk, Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf, 2007



Co-produced by ARTE and shown at Festival Temps d'Images Paris and at Tanzhaus NRW Düsseldorf
Shot in Normandy, France in 2007    

Dancers: Benoît Gob, Louise Peterhoff, Vânia Rovisco
Music Paris: Louise Peterhoff, Ludde Hagberg
Music Düsseldorf: Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Vânia Rovisco
Production Managers.: Sandra Knape, Wassili Zygouris
Director of Photography: Christoph Krauss
Costume Designer: Almut Eppinger
Sound Recordist: Florian Kühnle
Assistant DoP: Frederik Tegethoff
Production Assistant: Julien Mauduit

Directed and produced by Julian Rosefeldt

All rights reserved © Julian Rosefeldt




Other Works / Milk, 2007 / Milk (video installation)