Runtime: 73 mins long
Language: German with English Subtitles
Screenings will take place every two hours starting at 11:30 am daily
We lost an exceptionally important voice with the passing of Harun Farocki earlier this year. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we are offering a rare tribute to one of cinema's leading lights by hosting some of his recent work at the gallery.
Moreover, we're grateful to Antje Ehmann, his spouse and long-time collaborator, who chose "Sauerbruch Hutton Architekten" for presentation in Los Angeles. It was his last completed film and we're quite honored to be showing it since no other venue in the US--apart from the New York Film Festival--has presented the film since it was completed.
We hope you can make it.
Details of Sauerbruch Hutton Architekten:
For those interested in the architectural profession and are sensitive to grievances caused by the state of architectural discourse, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, a film directed by celebrated artist–filmmaker Harun Faroki, is worth the effort. Insecurity, or is it bravado (elective affinities, no doubt), is a customary feature in most films depicting architects. However, rather than striving to expose the absurdity of architectural dialogue, as The Competition by Spanish architect Angel Borrego Cubero does, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects skillfully expounds the thin line that architects straddle between pretension and rhetorical mastery. Architects have long stretched verbs to the end of good sense. But we can forgive them for this; the process whereby discourse is realized as three-dimensional form is complex. Farocki, through his choice of subject, questions this relationship between words and matter, and shows that the amount of time spent talking about a design is never relative to its final form...
...As one of his “direct cinema” films, Farocki never asks the protagonists to do or say anything and there are strict rules regarding time: “Anything seen or heard was done or said in that order. He perforates the film with modest inter-titles to provide structure. And colour, which is a theme so imperative element to the Sauerbruch Hutton Architect's designs, is referred to throughout the film in terms of deliberations on hues, tints, and tones. In contrast, the minimal studios and offices, located in a renovated barracks in Berlin’s Moabit district, offer a muted gallery-like backdrop in a palette of off-white and grey...
...Not quite an exposé nor traditional monograph, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects offers a window onto the award-winning Berlin-based architecture firm that, being master manipulators of form through diction, feels very much coloured by the architects themselves.
Farocki’s commentators note that the topics he favors involve situations in “flux or movement, liable to (sudden, dialectical) reversals” – so an architecture practice seems an obvious choice. He certainly captures its vacillations with a restrained dexterity and pervasive clarity: a quality in sharp contrast to the profession it depicts – and for that it deserves praise.
- Arthur Thompson
On Harun Farocki:
Filmmaker, film essayist, installation artist, writer: the Berlin artist Harun Farocki has devoted his life to the power of images. Over the thirty-plus years of his career, he has explored not the images of life but rather the life of images that surrounds us in newspapers, cinema, books, television, and advertising. Harun Farocki examines, from different critical perspectives, his vast oeuvre, which includes three feature films, critical media pieces, children’s television features, “learning films” in the tradition of Brecht, and installation pieces. Interviews, a selection of Farocki’s own writings, and an annotated filmography complete a valuable biography of this pioneering artist and his legendary career.
Indeed, the work of Harun Farocki is one of the most original, complex and sophisticated within modern German cinema, As a creator of films that are difficult to classify—the categories of "essay" and "documentary" are without a doubt insufficient—Farocki has developed a chance arrangement of images in his work that allows him to discover the ideology that underwrites a technique and the way in which a technique is likewise capable of generating new structures of thought. These "essays for the classification of images," in the words of Gilles Deleuze (a reference for Farocki), acquire different forms in Farocki's work and includes everything from images of cinema's precursors (easel painting, photography) to its inheritors (video and digital). With these, Farocki interrogates the social intersection between war, the economy and politics against the backdrop of an audiovisual history of civilization.
In one of his first shorts, Nicht löschbares Feuer (Inextinguishable Fire, 1969), realized in relation to the events of May '68, Farocki considers how to make a film about napalm and what the relation with the spectator would be. In Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Krieges (Images of the World and Epigraphs of the War, 1988), Forocki, with austerity and rigor, engages in the act of looking at an image and in describing what the image really signifies as well as its implications. His recent works, Eye Machine I and II (2001 and 2002) about the Gulf War in 1991, deal with the way in which visual military technologies penetrate civilian life. Farocki exposes the point at which the human eye looses its capacity to discern real images.
The use of archival material is common in his work, as in, for example, Videogramme einer Revolution (Videograms of a Revolution, 1992, 106'). Co-directed with Andrei Ujica, the film uses anonymous material from a television archive and deals with the bloody collapse of the Ceaucescu regime in Romania in 1989; likewise, Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik (Workers Leaving the Factory, 1995) employs archival material taken directly from the history of cinema. In Gefängnisbilder (Prison Images, 2000) images from the films of Robert Bresson and Jean Genet as well as documentaries of the Nazi period exist in dialogue with discarded surveillance recordings from maximum-security prisons in the United States.
Another recurrent theme in Farocki's work is advertising. Der Auftritt (The Debut, 1996) demonstrates the way in which a design studio debates a linguistic term in more depth than a poetry seminar. In a similar way, Stilleben (Still Lives, 1997) reveals the resemblances between the tradition of Flemish painting—with its description of quotidian objects—and contemporary advertising photographs, while the process of creating a film is reflected in Jean-Marie Straub und Danièle Huillet bei der Arbeit an einem Film nach Franz Kafkas Romanfragment "Amerika" (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet Working on a Film Based on Franz Kafka's "America", 1983)—two filmmakers with whom Farocki studied.
Die Schöpfer der Einkaufswelten (The Creators of Consumer Worlds, 2001) speaks to the structures of thought that exist behind strategies of consumption. Just as in his early work, Farocki's method exposes a technique that emanates an ideology, which, in this case, has undeniable totalitarian roots.
Sauerbruch Hutton Architekten (2013)
Opening Reception: November 14, 2014 | 5:30 pm - 9 pm