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An Image

Harun Farocki

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Harun Farocki, An Image (still), 1983.

An Other Cinema: Apparatus and Histories An Image
Harun Farocki
1983

25 Minutes
Courtesy of Harun Farocki GbR, Berlin

Date
September 6–20, 2021

“Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy magazine provided the subject matter for my film. The magazine itself deals with culture, cars, a certain lifestyle. Maybe all those trappings are only there to cover up the naked woman. Maybe it's like with a paper-doll. The naked woman in the middle is a sun around which a system revolves: of culture, of business, of living! (It's impossible to either look or film into the sun.) One can well imagine that the people creating such a picture, the gravity of which is supposed to hold all that, perform their task with as much care, seriousness, a responsibility as if they were splitting uranium.

This film, An Image, is part of a series I've been working on since 1979. The television station that commissioned it assumes in these cases that I'm making a film that is critical of its subject matter, and the owner or manager of the thing that's being filmed assumes that my film is an advertisement for them. I try to do neither. Nor do I want to do something in between, but beyond both.” (Harun Farocki, 1988)

An Image is presented as part of the program An Other Cinema: Apparatus and Histories, curated by Lukas Brasiskis and designed to precede the online symposium The State of the Moving Image (September 17–19).

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Category
Film, Image, Sexuality & Eroticism, Gender
Subject
Documentary, Mass Media & Entertainment
Return to An Other Cinema: Apparatus and Histories
Filmmaker

Harun Farocki (1944–2014) was born in German-annexed Czechoslovakia. From 1966 to 1968, he attended the Deutsche Film-und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB). In addition to teaching posts in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Manila, Munich, and Stuttgart, he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Farocki made close to 120 short and feature-length films for television and cinema, mostly documentaries and essay films that analyzed social realities, with a precise use of moving images and focus on the political and sociological context involved in the creation of imagery. He also worked in collaboration with other filmmakers as a scriptwriter, actor, and producer. In 1976, he staged Heiner Müller's plays The Battle and Tractor together with Hanns Zischler in Basel, Switzerland. Between 1974 to 1984, he was editor and contributing author of the magazine Filmkritik (München). His work has been shown in many exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide. From 2000 to 2004 Farocki taught in Berlin at his former school DFFB and at the University of the Arts. In 2004 Farocki first became a visiting professor and then in 2006 a full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. As a teacher Harun Farocki had a significant cinematic and intellectual influence on the development of the acclaimed Berlin School film movement.

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