Counter Music and On Construction of Griffith's Films

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Counter Music and On Construction of Griffith's Films

7 rue Debelleyme
75003 Paris
June 23rd, 2009 - July 25th, 2009

3rd Arrondissement
+33 (0)
Tue-Sat 10-7

The oeuvre of German film maker Harun Farocki amounts to nearly 100 feature films, essay films, documentaries, and installations that explore global, economic, social, and cultural developments. The exhibition in Paris will present Farocki's installations On Construction of Griffith's Films, taking up a sequence from D.W. Griffith's film Intolerance (1916), and Gegen-Musik/Counter Music, 2004. Both films are double projections. Harun Farocki himself describes their specific features as follows: "In a double projection, there is succession as well as simultaneity, the relation of an image to the one succeeding it as well as to the one next to it." Therefore, the mere coexistence of the two projections is not sufficient to definitively delineate the relationship of the images being shown. It is up to the viewer to recognize the different elements in correspondence.

In his installation On Construction of Griffith's Films, Harun Farocki elaborates on a sequence from D.W. Griffith's film Intolerance (1916). It shows a conversation between a man and a woman, filmed and edited as a shot and a counter shot. Farocki produces this sequence on two monitors. This innovative method of narration, using a shot and counter shot to film dialogues was still relatively groundbreaking at the time of production. "My intention was to create a film laboratory, to show as much as possible of the structure of a film, a film genre, or a style with as few interventions as possible. With the figure of a shot and counter shot that has now existed for ninety years and occurs in almost every film and every sequence, the narrated space is divided in two parts. I wanted to demonstrate this disassembly by showing the shot and counter shot images on two different monitors." (Harun Farocki).

Gegen-Musik/Counter Music (2004) studies the existing surveillance techniques within a city environment and the visualization process of the images being captured. The regulation of the urban setting by operative images is of interest to Harun Farocki, who aims to, '"remake" the city films, but using different images. Farocki explains the process saying that, "Limited time and means themselves demands concentration on just a few chapters, fragments, or preliminary studies."

Harun Farocki was born in 1944 in Neutitschein (located in the part of Czechoslovakia that was annexed by Germany at the time). He studied at the Deutsche Film-und Fernsehakademie Berlin between 1966 and 1968 and now lives and works in Berlin. Farocki was both editor and author of the magazine Filmkritik for ten years. Since 1974, Farocki has lectured in Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Vienna, Berlin, and Berkeley among other cities. Since the mid-nineties his works have increasingly been shown at international art institutions. The Frankfurter Kunstverein (2001), the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst Gent (2002), the Institute of Contemporary Arts London (2003), the ZKM Karlsruhe (2004), Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation Stockholm (2006), and the Museum Moderner Kunst Wien (2007) have held solo exhibitions of Harun Farocki.