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The Soundmaker (Series 2)

The Soundmaker (Nr. 1–3, Series 2), 2004

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Trilogy of Failure
(Part 1)
The Soundmaker (Nr. 1–3, Series 2)
Lambda print, 36,3 x 55 cm
Edition 4 + 2 ap

The photo works were created in the context of the film installation The Soundmaker (2004). It's the first part of Rosefeldt’s Trilogy of Failure (2004/2005) in which three different settings draw a picture of our vain entanglement with everyday rituals. In each case the protagonist is caught up in a microcosm that suggests mental and spatial claustrophobia. As a reaction to the hopeless situation, he plunges into permanent Sisyphean activity – going nowhere and producing nothing. The motifs of perpetual attempt and constant failure find their equivalent in the repetitive structure of the loop. The scenes are allegories of our frantic and ultimately futile attempts to escape the surrounding norms, constraints, structures and rituals by which we are determined.

The Soundmaker piles, in endless iteration, the furnishings of his room into his own personal Tower of Babel, only to dismantle it and return the room to its original state again. His performance is accompanied by a Foley artist, an alter ego looking identical to himself. While the action takes place on the central screen, two screens at the sides show the procedure of sound-making. Shot in aerial and frontal perspective, the screens depict the translation from life as it occurs in the centre into simple objects and minimal movements. As in many of his latter projects, Rosefeldt reflects upon the myth machinery of cinema by showing the film set behind the scenes, while simultaneously using it as a metaphor for the mechanics of life.

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


Berg, Stephan, et al., eds. Julian Rosefeldt: Film Works. Ostfildern, 2008.

Photo Works / The Soundmaker, 2004 / The Soundmaker (Series 2)