With this exhibition, Young Projects presents a filmmaker and artist whose work has left an indelible mark on the history of both, the political film and experimental video art.
Harun Farocki, who sadly passed away earlier this year, created a rich body of work that spans over 100 films and four decades. During that time the Berlin-based artist created feature-length narratives, essay films, documentaries, and numerous art installations that more often than not, focused on the ideology of the image and how that related to economics, advertising, the military/industrial complex, and global culture at large.
For this exhibition Young Projects will focus on one genre that not only relates to Farocki’s overall career, but a common question that reappears time and again in the history of experimental filmmaking: how does a city relate to representation? And can documentation faithfully capture the feelings and thoughts of its subject? For Farocki, the genre of the “City Symphony” was always fertile ground for interrogating and exploring the possibility (and marginalization) of human labor and the nature of industry, while at the same time he also used, and questioned, the role of the camera.
To this end, two films will be presented: Sauerbrach Hutton Architects (2013), which is the last completed work before the filmmaker died, and Interface (1995), arguably one of the artist’s most personal films. Both can be seen as important works in the artist's career
Sauerbrach Hutton Architects (2013) is the last film Mr Farocki completed before passing away earlier this year. This is the first screening of the film on the West Coast
Regarding the film Mr. Farocki said that it was an attempt to spend "three months in an architecture firm" while filming daily. But the result became a studied, meditative exploration of Sauerbrach Hutton's architectural office in Berlin as they designed a project for a new Virtual Reality Center in Laval. "From the architecture down to the tiniest door handle," said Farocki, "the film became a questioning of matter and the verb.”
Schnittstelle/Interface (1995) is considered a key work by Farocki in that it deals directly with the artist himself and his working methods. The film was initially commissioned by the Lille Museum of Modern Art, who asked Farocki to produce a video “about his work.” In the process the artist created a focused meditation on both, his own unique approach to filmmaking, and the subject of "discovered" images being more telling than fictional ones. The title plays on the double meaning of "Schnitt", referring both to Farocki's workplace, the editing table, as well as the "human-machine interface", where a person operates a computer using a keyboard and a mouse. Here the filmmaker/artist continually questions how and why images are used and arranged in the way that they are, while at the same time creating a personal essay, or diary, about image making itself.
Harun Farocki was born in 1944 in Neutitschein (located in the part of Czechoslovakia that was annexed by Germany at the time). He studied at the Deutsche Film-und Fernsehakademie Berlin between 1966 and 1968 and spent the majority of his career in Berlin. Farocki lectured in Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Vienna, Berlin, and Berkeley among other cities, and was both the editor and author of the magazine Filmkritik starting in 9174. Sadly, Mr Farocki passed away at age 70 earlier this year.
Since the mid-nineties his works have increasingly been the subject of solo exhibitions at international art institutions such as the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2001), the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst Gent (2002), the Institute of Contemporary Arts London (2003), the ZKM Karlsruhe (2004), Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation Stockholm (2006), and the Museum Moderner Kunst Wien (2007).
Opening Reception: November 14, 2014 | 5:30 pm - 9 pm