[Reader-list] Harun Farocki Exhibition

Monica Narula monica at sarai.net
Wed Oct 31 14:35:17 IST 2001

I hope that there are some people on the list who live in the 
proximity of this exhibition.  Personally i think that Farocki is an 
exceptionally intelligent filmmaker, and it would be great if any one 
who sees the exhibition can write about it on the reader list. If 
anyone else is reading Imprint, we could also begin a conversation on 


Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Reuchlinstr.4b, D -70178 Stuttgart
+49 /711    T 6157470      F 6157472

Exhibition: 4. 11.  01 - 14. 12. 01

Opening: Saturday, 3. November 2001, 7 PM
Exhibition, Film screening, Artist Discussion

Harun Farocki - Films, Videos and Installation from 1968 - 2001
Harun Farocki, Olaf Metzel, Wendelien van Oldenborgh

curated by Constanze Ruhm

Saturday, 3. November 2001, 8 PM
NICHT löschbares Feuer (1968/9)  d. Harun Farocki (D), 25 Min., 16mm
What Farocki Taught (1998), d. Jill Godmilow (USA) 30 Min., 16mm/videoversion

Followed by:
Harun Farocki in discussion with Constanze Ruhm

The project NICHT löschbares Feuer  focuses on four decades of work 
from film director Harun Farocki through an artist’s space 
perspective, in this period of time where a convergence of Farocki 
materials appear in neighboring regional institutions (ZKM Karlsruhe 
in the group exhibition CTRL -[SPACE], Frankfurter Kunstverein), and 
the release of a newly published book on his work "Imprint/Nachdruck" 
(Lukas&Sternberg NY, 2001).

NICHT löschbares Feuer introduces an overview of Harun Farockis film 
and video works as well as his work as author and filmcritic (editor 
and writer of Filmkritik journal, Film and TAZ Berlin), including his 
well know installation work  Ich glaubte Gefangene zu sehen along 
with a first presentation of a new installation with the title Die 
Maschinen tun ihre Arbeit nicht länger blind which is based on 
materials Farocki is currently investigating.

The exhibition centers specifically on Farocki's methodology and 
practice on the scale of a highly individual artistic approach and 
convention, that of first and foremost a filmmaker, a documentarist 
and writer engaged in politics of representation. His strategy 
connects an ongoing investigation of notions of representation with a 
search for new principles of montage, for tools that render visible 
the changing structures of a society. A new technique of framing is 
employed that allows for comparison, analysis and modification of the 
political and cultural space of ideas within which representational 
modes are formulated. These montage principles are applied within 
various media formats as a form of consistent exploration of the 
etymology of images, as well as through a technique of re-inscription 
and re-contextualization within always-new constellations. Farocki 
relates that to a critique of hegemonical, official forms of 
representation ranging from subjects like the Vietnam war to Self 
Managment, Advertisement and sales strategies. Through doubting the 
truth of that what we see, he reveals the mechanics hidden beneath 
the surface of images and opens them up to critical rereading and 

The project opens with a screening of two films followed by a 
discussion with the artist. The focus is on production, with 
Farocki’s film on Vietnam and US manufacture of Napalm, NICHT 
löschbares Feuer (1968/69), and US filmmaker Jill Godmilow’s 1998 
shot-for-shot replica What Farocki Taught. Together,  these represent 
a dialogue between decades where the causality chain of action and 
reaction within the sensitive field of cultural readings and 
re-readings becomes visible. As Godmilow writes for this haus.0 
presentation: What Farocki Taught is a replica -- not a remake, not 
an homage, not an updating -- but a shot-for-shot replica of Harun 
Farocki's 1969  film Inextinguishable Fire. It was intended as a 
repetition of the original. Gertrude Stein once said, 'Let me repeat 
what history teaches: History teaches.' Fire seemed worth repeating."

Farockis role as rigorous theorizer of a contemporary syntax of 
filmmaking will be emphasized in a spatial framework, at three 
exhibition areas.

The installation Ich glaubte Gefangene zu sehen is joined by a new 
work presented for the first time: Die Maschinen tun ihre Arbeit 
nicht länger blind, which was developed by HarunFarocki specifically 
along the outline of the project. The work joins to the artist space 
at the level of a methodology, a representational interplay and 
breakdown of his recent investigations that link with his new work on 
intelligent machines, intelligent weapons and how these advertise one 
another. Seen together, the shift from a society of discipline 
towards a society of control is a constituent factor within Farockis 
work and thus emphasized a line of thought along which the works and 
installations are developed.

... looking for traces of a staging in social reality...
Harun Farocki, Olaf Metzel, Wendelien van Oldenborgh

The exhibition introduces three specific moments extracted from a 
sense of contemporary public spaces, and sets these in relation to 
various possible forms of occupation, inhabitation and demarcation :

The Prison:

Harun Farocki
Ich glaubte Gefangene zu sehen (2000)
Die Maschinen tun ihre Arbeit nicht länger blind (2001)

The Museum:

Olaf Metzel
Stammheim Dokumente (1984/2001)

The Stadium:

Wendelien van Oldenborgh
It´s full of holes, it´s full of holes (1999/2001)

The spaces' borders and margins are usually defined by contemporary 
surveillance systems recording fragmentary gestures, unpredictable 
movements of bodies, evocations of past and future potential 
transgressions that transform into materials for artistic 

Each work contains aspects of performance, deals with issues of 
observation and surveillance, as well as with the notion of the 
system of architecture as embodiment of institutional strategies of 
constraint, thus defining and limiting the subject's potential sphere 
of influence. An interruption within the system's economy occurs in a 
moment of exchange constituting a punctuation mark in space, in which 
a subversive potential is finally released.

Monica Narula
Sarai:The New Media Initiative
29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110 054

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