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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.
Julian Rosefeldt, Global Soap
Self-published, coed. Künstlerhaus Bethanien
2001, First edition
24,5 x 30,5 cm
114 pages, color ill., hardcover