Harun Farocki: Three Early Films

With Three Early Films, Cubitt Gallery hosted a selection of early works by the renowned German filmmaker Harun Farocki (b.1944). From 17 January through 22 February (2009), the exhibition features four public events and consecutive screenings of Inextinguishable Fire (1969, 16mm, 25 min.), Between Two Wars (1978, 16mm, 83 min.) and Industry and Photography (1979, 35mm transferred to video, 44 min.). This modest selection from an otherwise extensive career of writing, publishing, television production, installations, feature movies and documentaries, underlines Farocki’s unique influence on moving image practice throughout the last 4 decades. Farocki continuously succeeds in abstracting the cultural and political representation of labour and combat from its matrix of production and perception.

In order to generate a singular contemporary interpretation of Farocki’s oeuvre, Three Early Films opens up the question of the representation of pedagogy within visual culture. In association with Kodwo Eshun (London based writer and artist from The Otolith Group) and Antje Ehmann (Berlin based artist and curator), a discursive context is constructed that takes its cue from the ongoing research of the critic Tom Holert and the curator Marion von Osten (Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna), entitled the Education Image. Education Image explores the different ways in which pedagogy appears in visual culture and how, in turn, visual culture is used as an educative tool.

Four public events were organised throughout the course of the exhibition with the participation of Tom Holert, Marion von Osten, Harun Farocki and Lucy Reynolds.

Overall, Three Early Films is more than an exhibition; it constitutes a critical playing field that is suggestively described by Ehmann and Farocki as a cutting room (‘a laboratory for cinema’). “The cutting room is the place where film is examined; where each individual film-take is meticulously weighed and evaluated”, note Ehmann and Farocki. With this in mind, Three Early Films features a diverse program informed by the imperatives of examination, selection and critical assessment; the exhibition features a differentiation in timing (combining video loops with special screenings), media (video and 16mm-projections) and public discussions in partnership with the Goethe Institute, London and the University of Westminster’s Centre for the Production and Research of Documentary Film, London.

Public Events

• Education Image — Sat 31 Jan
• What Farocki Taught — Sat 7 Feb
• The Image in Violence — Thu 19 Feb
• Q&A with Harun Farocki — Fri 20 Feb

Exhibition Screenings

• Inextinguishable Fire (1969, 16mm, 25min.)
• Between Two Wars (1978, 16mm, 83min.)
• Industry & Photography (1979, video, 44min.)

Harun Farocki: Inextinguishable Fire © Harun Farocki Filmproduktion

Project Category

Harun Farocki
Raven Row
Antje Aehman
Stuart Comer

Audio: The Image in Violence Harun Farocki in conversation with Kodwo Eshun