Harun Farocki

(B.1944, Nový Jicin (Neutitschein), Czechoslovakia // D.Berlin, 2014)

Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik in elf Jahrzehnten / Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades, 2006

12 channel video installation, 36 min. (loop), video b/w & color, sound

The installation is displayed on twelve monitors simultaneously showing scenes of workers leaving the factory throughout film history. In cinematography, perception and concept diverge. "La sortie des usines Lumière", the first film in history, shows a building that doesn't look like a factory at all, it looks more like a farm. When it comes to social conflict, the shot "in front of a factory" is very significant; however, when he shows the private life of a character, which begins after work, the factory is set aside. In Fritz Lang's "Clash by Night" (1952), we see Marilyn Monroe leaving the factory. The coexistence of factories and movie stars, though, is not compatible. Factories - and the whole subject of work- remain on the edge of film history.


Exhibition view: Harun Farocki. One Image doesn't take the place of the previous one. Curator: Michèle Thériault. Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montréal

View Installation: Image Works Harun Farocki, 2011. Beirut Art Center. Photo: Agop Kanledjian.

The first film in the history of film: Auguste and Louis Lumière, La Sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon, France 1895 42 sec (first monitor) The reappearance of this motif in eleven decades of cinema: 1–5: silence / 6–11: sound (headphones)

First decade (1895–1904): Gariel Veyre, Sortie de la briqueterie Meffre et bourgoin à Hanoi, Francia 1899, 42 seg.

Second decade (1905–1914): technicians, probably in Moscow, 1912, 58 seg. (fragment)

Third decade (1915–1924) : D. W. Griffith, Intolerance, USA 1916, 2.30 min (fragment)

Fourth decade (1925–1934) : Fritz Lang, Metropolis, Germany 1926, 1.40 min (fragment)

Fifth decade (1935–1944): Charles S. Chaplin, Modern Times, USA 1936, 42” (fragment)

Sixth decade (1945–1954): Slatan Dudow, Frauenschicksale, RDA 1952, 33”. (fragment)

Seventh decade (1955–1964): Michelangelo Antonioni, Deserto Rosso, Italy 1964, 4’45” (fragment)

Eighth decade (1965–1974): Jacques Willemont, La réprise du travail aux usines Wonder, France 1968, 9’ 33” (fragment)

Ninth decade (1975–1984): Jean-Marie Straub, Danielle Huillet, Trop tôt, trop tard, France/Germany 1981, 10’ 15” (fragment)

Tenth decade (1985–1994): Durchfahrtssperren DSP®, commisioned elkostar®, Germany,1987, 1’11” (fragment)

Eleventh decade (1995–2004) : Lars von Trier, Dancer in the Dark, USA 2000, 1’47” (fragment)