Harun Farocki is one of the most important and influential filmmakers, an ethnographer of capitalist living environments, which he dissected and analyzed. Vital to his approach and his oeuvre is the examination of the meaning of images, their genesis, and, in particular, the power structures inscribed in them. Farocki left behind extensive works of film and media theory, still to be discovered, and for decades worked as a lecturer. Since the mid-‘90s, he expanded his cinematic practice with video installations.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein Archive
The major exhibition “Harun Farocki: By Other Means” combines works by Harun Farocki, which deal with the logic of cinema, films are quoted and their visual languages are analyzed. For instance, “On Construction of Griffith’s Films” (2006) deals with the montage principles of the early films by D. W. Griffith, whereas the 6-channel video installation “Feasting or Flying” (2008) examines the motif of male suicide in fictional film. The 5-channel video installation “War Tropes” (2011), brings together key motifs of the war film genre, and “Dubbing” (2006) is dedicated to the effects of the translation of films. In the predominantly multi-channel installations “soft montage” is used, which is key to Farocki’s work: the images are assembled not only in succession, but also in juxtaposition. The “soft montage” is also transferred to the exhibition space where the works are not shown separately in black boxes, but in a way that allows it to look at them together and in comparison. Apart from the analysis of the film images, another motif is central to the works shown at n.b.k.: iteration, the images iterating within the works and in the exhibition. This principle is demonstrated in particular by the work “Re-Pouring” (2010). This work, which deals with automated work processes that Farocki repeatedly addressed in his oeuvre, illustrates especially the concept of iteration in the context of the exhibition, an allegory of the functioning of images in the greater part of Harun Farocki’s oeuvre. The exhibition is completed by documentary material and Harun Farocki’s radio feature “So long good-bye” (1978). Simultaneously the first retrospective of Harun Farocki´s complete cinematographic work takes place at the Arsenal Cinema.
Info: Curators: Antje Ehmann and Carles Guerra, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Chausseestrasse 128/129, Berlin, Duration 14/9/17-28/1/18, Days & Hours: Tue-Wed & Fri-Sun 12:00-18:00, Thun12:00-20:00, www.nbk.org