Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance)
June 29, 2011–January 2, 2012
The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor
Projects Gallery, second floor
Works in the Projects Gallery are on view June 29–October 17. All other works remain on view through January 2, 2012.
Galvanized by the international student protest movement of the late 1960s, Farocki has developed an experimental documentary style, integrating his own material with footage appropriated from a range of sources, including mass media, surveillance, and political propaganda. Serious Games I–IV (2009–10), which is comprised of four distinct video installations—I: Watson is Down (2010), II: Three Dead (2010), III: Immersion (2009), and IV: A Sun with No Shadow (2010)—positions video game technology within the context of the military, where it originated. The work juxtaposes real-life wartime exercises with virtual reenactments in order to examine the fundamental links between technology, politics, and violence. Other works on view include the early agit-prop film Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and Videograms of a Revolution (1992), a collaboration with Andrej Uijca. The exhibition also includes Farocki’s most recent work, The Silver and the Cross (2010). Some 32 works are presented at three interactive viewing stations, providing a comprehensive overview of Farocki's practice.
In the adjoining Projects Gallery, I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts (2000) and the trilogy Eye/Machine I-III (2001–03), are on view from June 29 through October 17, 2011. I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts draws connections between the role of surveillance in everyday consumer culture and in prison life, directing viewers’ attention to the fatal shooting of an unarmed prisoner by a guard at a maximum-security penitentiary in 1989, an event that was caught on camera. In Eye/Machine I-III, Farocki collects images from military and industrial surveillance devices to explore the increasingly complex relationship between humans and machines.
A selection of publications featuring texts by or about the artist will also be available in the exhibition gallery, presenting the various dialogues that have taken shape around Farocki’s work, as well as his indelible impact on film criticism and theory.