“Harun Farocki — Empathy” takes the title and the concept of an exhibition that was presented at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, curated by Antje Ehmann and Carles Guerra in 2016.
With nine video installations from 1995 to 2014, “Harun Farocki — Empathy» presents a series of emblematic works that analyze forms of labour arising from traditional production modes as well as from the demands of capitalist production focusing on changes in labour processes and their representation in contemporary societies. This video corpus also represents a decisive turn in
Farocki's practice when he creates, for the first time in 1995, double-screen installations designed specifically for the exhibition space, among which Interface, shown both at the Centre Pompidou and at the Friche next November. Also on display in the show: Workers leaving the factory, documentary essay on the anticipated disappearance of industrial labour, and also the video work Comparison via a Third where traditional labour is confronted to labour within industrial countries.
Empathy. This notion, taken from a text by Harun Farocki, guides the selection of works to be presented at the Friche la Belle de Mai. While from the 1960s on, Brecht's distancing effect imposed a need for de-romanticization and objectivity in documentary practices, towards the end of his life Farocki questioned why the precious term ‘empathy' had been handed over to the enemy, i.e. to mainstream cinema and the entertainment industry. Harun Farocki called for its reconsideration and re-appropriation: for Another Kind of Empathy.
“We regard Farocki's particularly patient and non-judgmental use of the camera as a tool for filming people at work and work spaces without interference or manipulation as a precious proof of his empathic skills” (Antje Ehmann/Carles Guerra).
Complementing this selection of works driven by Harun Farocki's interest in the world of labour, the Friche la Belle de Mai presents, for the first time in France, Farocki's final long-term project, realized together with Antje Ehmann: Eine Einstellung zur Arbeit / Labour in a Single Shot. From 2011 to 2014, Farocki and Ehmann conducted workshops with filmmakers and artists in 15 cities all over the world. Taken together, these workshops produced more than 400 one- to two-minute long films on the subject of labour. The exhibition on view at Friche includes a selection of fifty-four films from nine cities. These short single-shot films exemplify the manifold kinds of labour that co-exist in the world today: material or immaterial labour, paid or unpaid work, occupations traditional or novel. The
chosen works by Harun Farocki as well as the films selected from Labour in a Single Shot reveal that cinematic scenarios can be found wherever a pedagogy of the image exists. They are founded on the assumption that an image is never innocent, but rather part of a historically changing visual culture and its image regimes.
Harun Farocki (1944-2014) leaves a considerable body of work of more than 120 films and installations. His practice, at the crossroads of the film essay and the documentary film, is influenced by the works of great artists such as Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet, and Bertolt Brecht.
He used to explore, with a sharp eye and a sense of curiosity, surveillance devices and human control whether it be in the work environment, in everyday life, or at war. The automation of the machine and the gesture are important issues in his work and which he kept on analyzing. His practice wavered between that of an artist, of a researcher, and sometimes of a scientist, but with an approach that was rather critical than clinical on his subjects of studies.
His pedagogical and didactic approach, present in all his oeuvre, expanded with his activity as a professor at the university of Berkeley, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and also at the Berlin Film School where he would be the teacher of filmmaker Christian Petzold, which marks the beginning of their collaboration.
With the kind permission of the Centre Pompidou.
full : 5€
reduced : 3€