Ahogy látunk/As You See- Harun Farocki
The What and the How, that is the mutual dependance of the object and the way of accessing it, and the tight connection thereof is the fundamental thesis of every media theory. As we have known for a long time, how we see defines what we see.
Harun Farocki is a cool analyst and an enthusiastic critic at once, whose films and video installations show the observer with unseeming ease what it means to read something into pictures and what can be deduced from them: in short, all that we can see and how we see. Farocki is one of the most important chroniclers of visual modernity, the technological picture and electronic media who permanently comments on the history of film and at the same time creates a special history of film through a web of unexpected relations.
The exhibition is mutually realised by aqb and the Goethe-Institut and is the most complete presentation of the German filmmaker in Hungary to date. Additionally to the works on display in the exhibition space, screenings and following discussions will be offered weekly. The essay films of Farocki established a genre of their own.
During his decades-long career, the German director realised a poetic and associative pictorial world tusing strict documentaristic tools. His singular interest in the history of film and the theory of media resulted more and more in video installations. From a chronological point of view, the exhibition presents his work from the late 80s until the 2010s.However, the thematic aspect is of greater importance. The exhibition shows through the complexity (various worlds of sensual organs, paths and dead-end-streets of the history of technology, standardisation and discrepancy) of essay films (Wie man sieht, Ausdruck der Hände) the technological development of creating pictures and how the institutions of power distribute, collect and use them. The films of Farocki continuously reflect on the traditionally tight connections of optical media and the armaments industry.
The next transposition leads to the products of the entertainment industry. Leaving behind the age of technical reproducibility and heading for the world of operative pictures, that is pictures produced by machines for machines, we find ourselves without noticing in a novel scopic regime (Martin Jay). At the center of the exhibition, in the oscillating field of pictures and texts, are the issues of war, from the subject centered Ausdruck der Hände up to the weaving of the subject in Auge/Maschine.
As You See
The Works of Harun Farocki
aqb Project Space
10.09. 2022. – 06.11. 2022.
Opening: 9 September 2022, 6 p.m.
Curator: Kukla Krisztián
Graphic design : Borsos János
Also part of the exhibition is Farockis collection of T-shirts, appearing both as a thrilling comment and a counterpoint to the films and installations.
Walter Benjamin once saw a political opportunity in the reception characteristic for moving pictures and the economics of attention (entertainment and distraction vs. traditional focusing and contemplation). Harun Farocki believes in distraction and collection too, whereas his pictures are contemplative, educational and exciting.
The activist wardrobe
Over the years, Harun Farocki had built up a collection of T-Shirts that now enable us to have a look at the political map of an exceptional filmmaker, observer, and activist.