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Harun Farocki, “Between two wars”


7 September – 31 December 2018

Marius Babias
Presentation on Harun Farocki's body of work
7 September 2018, 7 pm

1+1 & iaşi
Str. Al. Lăpuşneanu, Nr. 7-9

Harun Farocki (1944-2014) is one of the most influential contemporary German filmmakers who has been preoccupied with analyzing the mechanisms of manifestation and propagation of capitalism. “Most of the films of Farocki are the analytical exercises of the economic and political situations that condition our perception. His work, largely, deals with the status of the image and how we understand truth from the mediation of the images. Farocki, as it is often described by the researchers, aims at utilising the films as the tool for the research. His films, as many other experimental films, are heuristic devices for penetrating into the deep pores of the social questions.” (Sezgin Boynik)

The “Between Two Wars” exhibition takes its title from Harun Farocki’s homonymous work and allows the audience in Iaşi to review, in chronological, six cinematographic works by Harun Farocki from the n.b.k. Video-Forum collection in Berlin, starting with “Nicht löschbares Feuer” (1969), “Zwischen Zwei Kriegen” (1978), “Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Krieges” (1988), “Gefängnisbilder” (2000) sau “Schöpfer der Einkaufswelten” (2001) thus enabling a deeper understanding of the cinematic apparatus and mechanisms as well as the working methodology of the author. Extremely important for the notoriety of the German filmmaker in Romania, “Videogramme einer Revolution” (1992), conducted with Andrei Ujică in 1992, could be analyzed in the wider context of Harun Farocki’s works.

On September 7, curator and theorist Marius Babias will present a presentation of the works of the German filmmaker in the context of the retrospective exhibition Harun Farocki[1], which was organized in early 2018 by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.).

Subsequently, theoretician Sezgin Boynik will conduct an analysis of the “Videograms of a Revolution”, the first step being to describe the historical sources of Farocki’s film methodology. “For this purpose we will look at Harun Farocki’s writings and films from the seventies where he formulated his position regarding the use of images in understanding the representational regimes of the world. This research […] which will be about focusing on the status of the image in representing the Romanian revolution. For this purpose, we will use already existing materials on this topic and compare them with our previous studies.” (Sezgin Boynik)

Curators: Florin Bobu and Livia Pancu

Lists of works:

· „Nicht löschbares Feuer” (The Inextinguishable Fire), 00:21:55, PAL, black/white, sound, 1969
· „Zwischen zwei Kriegen” (Between two wars), 01:21:30, PAL, black/white, sound, 1978
· „Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Kriege” (Images of the World and The Inscription of War), 01:13:31, PAL, color, sound, 1988
· „Videogramme einer Revolution” (Videograms of a revolution), 01:46:54, PAL, color, sound, 1992
· „Gefängnisbilder” (Prison pictures), 01:00:37, PAL, black/white, color, sound, 2000
· „Schöpfer der Einkaufswelten” (The Creators of the Shopping Worlds), 01:12:30, PAL, color, sound, 2001

[1] Retrospective Harun Farocki was a Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (nbk) project in collaboration with Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art, Harun Farocki Institute, Harun Farocki GbR, Silent Green Kulturquartier, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Savvy Contemporary and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, as part of Berlin Art Week, supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.ulture and Europe.

Harun Farocki (1944-2014) is a German filmmaker and author that created over 100 productions for TV and cinema, including story films, political essay films and documentaries. Until the fall of Berlin wall he has been working in West Germany. It is known to often been citing the influence of marxist cultural thinkers and practitioners such as theater director Bertolt Brecht, philosopher Theodor Adorno and the filmmaker Jean Luc Godard. In 1968, together with Hartmut Bitomsky, Wolfgang Petersen and Holger Meins he was expelled from the newly founded German Film and Television Academy in Berlin for undesirable political activities. Between 1974 and 1984 he was editor of Filmkritik, Munich and he co-wrote, together with Kaja Silverman the book “Speaking about Godard”, published in 1998 and 1999 in New York and Berlin. Between 1993 and 1999 he was visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1996 his work started to be extensively shown in museums and contemporary art institutions such as: Tate Modern in London, MUMOK Wien, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, MACBA in Barcelona and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 2007, his work “Deep Play” was presented in Documenta 12. Since 2004 visiting professor, since 2006 full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Between 2011 and 2014 Harun Farocki together with Antje Ehmann realised their long term project “Labour in a Single Shot” that was shown also at Venice Biennale in 2015. He died on 30th of July 2014, near Berlin.

Marius Babias, born in Romania, studied literature and political science at the Free University in Berlin, lives and works as a curator and arts theorist in Berlin. Since 2008 he has been director of the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.). In 2005 he has been commissioner of the Romanian Pavillon at 51st Venice Biennale and has curated the exhibitions “The New Europe”, Generali Foundation, Vienna, and “Formats for Action”, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin. In 2006 he has been co-curator of the Periferic 7 – International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Iaşi (Romania). In 2001–2003 he has been artistic co-director at the Kokerei Zollverein | Zeitgenössische Kunst und Kritik in Essen. He has worked as an art critic for Kunstforum International, Kunst-Bulletin, Metropolis M and IDEA arts + society among others. 1997-2001 Babias has been visiting professor at the Städelschule Frankfurt/Main, at the University of Arts Linz and at the Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, Japan. In 1997 he has been co-curator of the exhibition weitergehen, Kulturbehörde Hamburg. In 1996 he won the “Carl Einstein Prize” for Art Criticism. He has edited “Im Zentrum der Peripherie” (1995), co-edited “Die Kunst des Öffentlichen” (1998), “Arbeit Essen Angst” (2001), “Campus” (2002), “Handbuch Antirassismus” (2002), “Critical Condition” – Writings by Julie Ault, Martin Beck (2003), and “The Balkans Trilogy” (2006). Babias is also the author of “Herbstnacht” (Berlin 1989), “Ich war dabei, als … Interviews” 1990-2000 (Frankfurt am Main 2001), “Ware Subjektivität – Eine Theorie-Novelle” (Munich 2002), Berlin. “Die Spur der Revolte” (Cologne 2006) and “Kunst in der Arena der Politik” (Cologne 2008).

Sezgin Boynik (1977), lives and works in Helsinki. He has completed his Ph.D. in Jyväskylä University Social Science department on the topic of Cultural Politics of Black Wave in Yugoslavia from 1963 to 1972. He has been publishing on punk, relation between aesthetics and politics, on cultural nationalism, Situationist International, and Yugoslavian cinema. Co-edited reader “Nationalism and Contemporary Art” (with Minna L. Henriksson, Rhizoma & EXIT, Prishtina, 2007), and co-authored book on “History of Punk and Underground in Turkey”, 1978-1999 (with Tolga Guldalli, BAS, Istanbul, 2008). Apart from scholarly work he is also active as conceptual artist. Recent articles include “New Collectives” (Retracing Images, Brill, Boston & Leiden, 2011), “Cultural Policy of Dusan Makavejev” (Kino! Journal No. 15, Ljubljana, 2011), “Discontents with Theoretical Practices in Contemporary Art” (Journal of Visual Art Practice 10:2, London, 2011) “Art of Slogans – in two parts” (TKH no 19 and 20, Belgrade, 2012), “Social Surrealism: Historical-Materialist Theses on the Mystery of Art” (open space journal, Vienna, 2013), “Marxist-Leninist Roots of Zenitism” (Filmkollektiv, Frankfurt, 2013), “Counter-Godard: On Makavajev’s Anti-Formalism” (Kino! Journal No. 15, Ljubljana, 2015) and “Between Privileges of Unlearning and Formlessness of Anti-Knowing: Ideologies of Artistic Education” (Inca Press, Forms of Education, Seattle, 2016). Also he is author of artistic books “Counter-constructivist Model”(co-authored with M.L. Henriksson, Labyrinth Press, Stockholm, 2012),“Still Stealing Steel: Historical-Materialist Study of Zaum” (Rab-Rab Publication, Tbilisi, 2014) and “Noise After Babel: Language Unrestrained” (Spector Books, Leipzig, 2015). He is editor of Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art.

The exhibition Harun Farocki "Between two wars" is part of TRECUT INCOMOD / INCONVENIENT PAST project, organized by 1 + 1 in collaboration with Iasi, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), German Cultural Center Iasi, ODD București, ColectivA Cluj, Vetro Baji, Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” (UAIC) and co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration. The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or the way the project results can be used. This is entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the beneficiary.

Video still from Harun Farocki, Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Kriege (Images of the World and The Inscription of War), 1988