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Julika Rudelius

Julika Rudelius (b. 1968, Cologne) has pursued her method for over twenty years, quietly observing specific people – how they behave and what they say. Rudelius’s videos do not normally allow us to hear her questions. This turns the replies given by her interviewees – whether young fashion victims, identical triplets, or political interns in Washington – into a kind of monologue. The result has an immediacy that places the viewer in the position of an addressee, creating a close bond of proximity between spectator and subject. The people in Rudelius’s videos often make highly intimate revelations, raising the question of boundaries and their possible transgression. This is the method used in the video Forever, in which Rudelius interviews five American women, who she says she chose ‘for their beauty’. The artist asks them about looks, privilege, happiness and other abstract values; other topics discussed include inner beauty and old age. Rudelius shot the interviews next to swimming pools in expensive mansions and encouraged the women to photograph themselves with a Polaroid camera. What these women say and how they present themselves reveals much about how they think others perceive them and how they perceive themselves. The gaze of Rudelius’s camera is both revealing and empathetic. The eternity invoked by the title may be thwarted by beauty’s temporality, but Forever does more than reflect on external appearances. Above all, Rudelius’s video reflects on the spectator’s gaze, their prejudices, their open-mindedness and how they position themselves in relation to what they see.


  1. Julika Rudelius, "Forever", 2006. Double projection HD, couleur, son. 16 min 51 sec. Collection Mudam Luxembourg. Donation 2015 – Allen & Overy © Julika Rudelius
    Julika Rudelius Forever, 2006

    Double projection HD, couleur, son
    16 min 51 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2015 – Allen & Overy
    © Julika Rudelius

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