Berlin | ArtRegion: Berlin, Kreuzberg

König Galerie

Julian Rosenfeldt: Penumbra

7. Juni – 7. August 2022

What does the past of a distant future look like? A distant future to which humankind will be driven by the forces of neoliberal capitalism, climate change, populism, and the pervasive intrusion of one’s private sphere through digital technology? Julian Rosefeldt’s 85-minute film PENUMBRA is not a work of science fiction. Instead, it points to our current situation, albeit within a fictious framework that paves the way for a paradoxical enigma: who will we be when we are gone? The new work follows up on the 43-minute film In the Land of Drought, 2015/17 – the condensed version of Rosefeldt’s filmic interpretation of Joseph Hayden’s oratorio The Creation. In a similar vein, Penumbra originates from a film work, planned as a visual backdrop for Robert Schumann’s oratorio, Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, at the opera houses in Antwerp, Ghent, and Montpellier. For his two key works of German literature, Faust: A Tragedy, Part I and II (1808–1832), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created a visionary protagonist in the scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Faust. As a character, Dr. Faust anticipated the great issues of our time: capitalism, post-colonialism, the exploitation of nature, and environmental disasters. For the oratorio, Schumann selected a few fragments of Goethe’s masterpiece to compose music for, and for Rosefeldt’s filmic adaptation, the artist fragmented Schumann’s romantic composition to use as a soundtrack. Akin to In the Land of Drought, the new work Penumbra focuses on the notion of what happens »after us.« Looking back from a distant, imagined future upon the post-Anthropocene – the aftermath of significant human influence on our planet – the film addresses this problematic relationship between humans and their impact on Earth.


Di–Sa 10–18
So 12–18

König Galerie
Alexandrinenstr. 118–121
10969 Berlin