beirut art center is proud to organise a solo exhibition by the prolific and influential german artist and filmmaker harun farocki.
farocki has produced an immense body of film, video and critical analysis that explores the production, dissemination and reception of images and the cultural and political power they wield. the exhibition at beirut art center will present a selection of farocki’s major video installations, including the earlier works interface (1995), i thought i was seeing convicts (2000) andeye/machine iii (2003), as well as the more recent productions workers leaving the factory in eleven decades (2006), on construction of griffith’s films (2006), and serious games (2009 & 2010).
in his two-channel video installation, interface (1995), farocki returns to the programme he followed in his early work of making “film scientific and science political”. the video shows farocki at work and sets out a visualised theory of montage, taking its formal inspiration from the design of a conventional video-editing suite. he equates the editing table with a scientific laboratory and a negotiating table, while reflecting the similarities and differences between the aesthetic mechanisms of images and their production conditions.
the installation eye/machine iii (2000) demonstrates how the prolific spread of imaging and simulation technologies has neutralised war and the possibilities for resistance. recycled imagery shows virtual humans murdered by military simulators as mere pixels on a screen. by extension actual victims of war killed by the impersonal push of a button are dehumanised before death by the war machine’s pixilation. this theme of technology and its relationship to war is further explored in farocki’s serious games (2009 & 2010) series.
farocki returns to recycled images in i thought i was seeing convicts (2000), this time drawing mainly from surveillance videos taken from us penitentiaries as well as fictional films. the film highlights with clinical boldness the centrality of images in imposing authority as farocki juxtaposes the use of the camera with the gun.
in workers leaving the factory in eleven decades (2006), the title of which is taken from the lumière brothers’ first film, farocki uses the recurring scene of workers exiting a factory to investigate the history of cinema. the irony of the film rests on the fact that workers have indeed left the factory coinciding with the development of cinema, and prevailing in its wake is image-dominated and service-orientated capitalism.
farocki continues his commentary on the history of cinema in on construction of griffith’s films(2006), analysing the innovation of the shot and countershot during a dialogue sequence from griffith’s 1916 film intolerance. although this technique is now omnipresent in film, farocki uses the sequence to illustrate an important milestone in the growing independence of cinematography.
With the support of the goethe-institut lebanon and sony business and professional by nassar 1955.