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David Rosetzky

Andrew Frost

The human spirit is adrift in a world of reflection. In David Rosetzky’s videos, people struggle to find meaning in lives surrounded by the plush accoutrements of designer living, while the artist envelops the viewer in elaborate three dimensional installations. Although Rosetzky’s work carries weighty themes the artist’s intentions remain ambiguous – are these videos a condemnation of the world of appearances? Or are they simply a portrait of our times?

Rosetzky’s Justine [2000] featured a woman in a stylish apartment listening to a vintage reel-to-reel tape player as a cat sits on a couch. A languid monologue voice-over about a crisis of self-image provides a hypnotic accompaniment, yet leaves the audience wondering if the woman on screen was the same female voice delivering the monologue. Weekender [2001] expanded this approach with a cast of characters discussing their problems of communication and interaction in extended voice-overs. As the deliberately clichéd action switches from the interior of a holiday house, to the cast walking in slow motion through a forest to a beach, the monologues continue. If Weekender explores the denial of narrative closure, then Rosetzky’s Summer Blend [2000] was his most explicit exploration of the aesthetics of advertising – a woman applying face cream, a man adjusting his hair – all set to trance inducing electronic lounge music. 

The installation for Rosetzky’s Custom Made [2000] began the artist’s more elaborate excursions into sculptural space. The two-screen video work was shown on two facing walls of paneled wood that featured two recessed seating areas akin to confessionals. The videos replayed sequences shot in the set with actors reciting monologues concerned with doubt and uncertainty. While the content of the video was similar to that of his single channel works, the installation created an ambiguous atmosphere that blurred the line between the viewer and the video. Rosetzky explored these effects further with pieces such as the three-screen Untouchable [2003] which placed video screens in a series of recessed boxes, and his Maniac de Luxe [2004] and Maniac de Luxe (Foyer), [2004]was the apotheosis of this approach utilising an entire gallery room carpeted and lit to match the locations of the video.

b. 1970
Selected works
Selected events