Harun Farocki is a terrifically interesting artist we almost never get to see in the Northwest. Tonight, thanks to the New Foundation (yay! thank you!), there's a screening of two of Harun Farocki's films at the UW School of Art, for free. Oh, I will see you there.
Here's the artist talking in the German magazine Zelluloid about An Image, which he made in 1983:
Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy 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 directly 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, and 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.”