Mandarin Ducks is a stylized group portrait with dialogs made up of citations from politicians and friends of the artists that repeat common clichés from the art scene and populist patterns of argumentation. This film was made for the Venice Biennale in 2005 and shows ten people in an upper-class apartment talking about love and dependency, corruption, politics, and psychological disunities. The filmmakers stage a highly artificial performance and atmosphere that creates distance from the action and ultimately reveals the ideological foundations of a social class that has become its own cliché.
This film screening and conversation with Willem de Rooij takes place in conjunction with the exhibition Political Populism at Kunsthalle Wien, which addresses populist appropriations of important social issues and artistic reactions to this.
Jeroen de Rijke/Willem de Rooij, Mandarin Ducks, 2005, 36 min
Followed by a conversation with Willem de Rooij & Nicolaus Schafhausen.
Willem de Rooij lives in Berlin. Exhibitions (selection): Intolerance, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2010); Textiles – Open Letter, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2013); Dutch Pavilion – together with Jeroen de Rijke, 51st Venice Biennale (2005).
Nicolaus Schafhausen has been director of Kunsthalle Wien since 2012. Prior to that he was director of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. He has been artistic director at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, director of Frankfurt Kunstverein, and was also the commissioner for the German Pavilions at the 52nd and 53rd Venice Biennale. He is the curator of the Kosovo Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and co-curator of the 6th Moscow Biennale.