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Black Lens | Visibility of the Work of Harun Farocki : An Archeology of the Image

[Paris 10e • France]


Mémoire humaine et œil de machine


A considerable number of Farocki’s films and installations assemble materials from archives, and in this sense they may be recognized as «montage» or compilation films. However, neither of the terms manages to summarize the peculiar approach of the filmmaker-artist. In his work, re-editing is certainly a process of thinking about images; and the act of assembling together pre-existing shots surely evokes the idea of a “collection of documents” (“compilation”), constituting an explicit figure in many of Farocki’s essay films, and exposing archive materials to processes of repetition and permutation as well as to a complex interplay between the acoustic and the visual.


The medium, by assuming the function of an “archiving archive” (Derrida), participates in the generation of future images. We may call Farocki’s image criticism “archaeological”, having in mind Michel Foucault’s envisaging of a historically determined system of thought and his working on the sources in order to give an account of the order of thought. As an extension to this archaeological approach, we may underline the importance of the materiality of techniques. The contribution intends to show how, in Farocki’s work, montage comes to produce a thinking of visibility as well as to suggest the unthought in the archive and its relation with the filmic unthought at the moment of recording.


Plus d’informations sur Black Lens

Recorded on the 29th March 2018 at La Colonie.
Concept : Filipa César, Louis Henderson & Olivier Marboeuf
Production : Khiasma in collaboration with Archive Kabinett (Berlin) & Spectre Productions
« Black Lens » is an associated programme of Cinéma du Réel Film Festival at Centre Pompidou.
With the support of the PERSPEKTIVE fund for contemporary art and architecture (an initiative of the Institut français’s Bureau des arts plastiques, supported by the French Ministry of Culture and the Goethe Institut) and Fluxus Art Projects.