Argos - Centre for Art and Media
Werfstraat 13 Rue du Chantier
+32 2 2290003 FAX +32 2 2237331
Two exhibitions
dal 19/4/2013 al 29/6/2013

Segnalato da

Ive Stevenheydens

calendario eventi  :: 


Two exhibitions

Argos - Centre for Art and Media, Bruxelles

Harun Farocki's oeuvre is a meditation about the social, political and economical spheres and reflects how they merge and blur their boundaries, but it's also a personal resistance to conventional cinema and visual art themes. The solo show "Side by Side" focuses on a selection of two-channel video installations. "In Remembrance of Times Past", is a series of video portraits from Argos's own collection.

comunicato stampa

Harun Farocki
Side by Side

During his career, Harun Farocki (1944) has created over 100 productions for television or the cinema such as documentary films, film essays, story films. Since the mid-90s, he has also dedicated to videos and video installations. His oeuvre is a meditation about the social, political and economical spheres and reflects how they merge and blur their boundaries, but it's also a personal resistance to conventional cinema and visual art themes.

The solo show Side by Side focuses on a selection of two-channel video installations. The show aims to inflect the strategies and the topics that Farocki approaches in his older and recent productions. Scrutiny of the changing status of the images is indeed a major concern in his work, but his analytical approach is not confined to certain genres of representations. Commissioned by the Lille Museum of Modern Art, Interface (1995) is a reflection on his own documentary work: from his beginning - when Farocki was making analogue films - to his current interest in digital images, Interface examines the question of what it means to work with existing images rather than producing one's own new images.
In this respect, The Silver and the Cross (2010) starts from the painting Description of Cerro Rico and the Imperial Municipality of Potosí, painted by Gaspar Miguel de Berrío in 1758. This video essay applies an archaeological method to the portray of the city of Potosí in Bolivia and develops a discourse about colonization: in this way, the narration unfolds the victims and the perpetrators, those who won and those who lost.
Furthermore, the notion of work becomes central in Comparison via a third (2007). Farocki takes bricks production sites as an example and pays tribute to the cinéma vérité tradition: the footages were originally shot on 16mm and edited without off-commentary, but twenty inter-titles comment on the images. The double projection enables the viewer to consider the various brick productions in comparison and reminds that bricks are the fundamentals of society: they store knowledge on social structures. Anyway, for over one hundred years, photography and film served not only to inform and entertain, but were also media of scientific research and documentation. Their objectivity contrasted the subjectivity of drawing and painting, but today computer animation is the prominent tool to represent, simulate and understand the nature: Parallel (2012) documents reality-effects and compares the development of surfaces and colorings over the past thirty years in computer animation images.
But, then, which kind of images can be used to depict city today? In Counter-Music (2004), Farocki answers by starting from Vertov's The Man with the Movie Camera (1929) and builds a city symphony made of fragments from control camera, digital models of the city, representations of traffic regulation, thermo-cameras footages. Here, the city, specifically Lille agglomeration, needs to be intended as a production process. In order to remake the city films, different images are necessarily required. Farocki's images are not merely juxtaposed or opposed, two images seen at the same time are related to each other and create a critical space for reflection.
In this way, Side by Side establishes a dialogue between Farocki's dual-channel installations, but it also proposes an approach to explore contemporary modes of representation. (AC)

Interface (1995) is part of the Generali Foundation Collection (Wien).

Special thanks to the Artist, Matthias Rajmann, Doris Leutgeb and Sabine Folie (Generali Foundation, Wien) and Eidotech team (Berlin).

For those who yearn for more Farocki: between May 4th and August 18, 2013, one of Harun Farocki’s most recent films, Ein Neues Produkt (A New Produkt) is on view in Design Beyond Production at Z33, house for contemporary art in Hasselt. In this 2012 documentary, we follow the “Quickborner Team”; a business consultancy from Hamburg that specializes in the optimization of workspaces within the knowledge industry. The design of human labour and spaces for human labour in a corporate culture, as it is perceived by and discussed in consultancy agencies, is taking centre stage in this film.

Design Beyond Production presents five scenarios that query the position of the maker in a production process. Artists/designers: Cohen Van Balen (UK), Tal Erez (IL), Tobias Revell (UK), Jeremy Hutchison (UK), Harun Farocki (DE)


In Remembrance of Times Past
20.4.2013 - 19.5.2013

Group show in the frame of 'Erfgoeddag 2013' with works by Marie André, Marta Bergman and Peter Krüger & Gerrit Messiaen. In the context of 'Heritage Day 2013', with this year’s theme of 'Stop the Time', Argos presents In Remembrance of Times Past, a series of video portraits from Argos’s own collection. The project presents the works in an architectural setting that incorporates elements from the works themselves, and also echoes the atmosphere to which they appeal.

In the art of painting, the portrait can be viewed as a “freezing in time”. The video portraits presented here go back to the tradition of direct cinema and cinéma vérité, but they are also rooted in the tradition of the family and friends portrait, as well as in that of the home movie. They feature portraits of women of a certain age or who are getting on to a certain age, but they also contain personal reflections on how Brussels once started to transform and how it is strongly changing today. The spotlight is thus on memory. While the camera records images of women in Brussels, how they go about they daily business, how they reminisce about their youth in the capital or elsewhere, we hear stories about a Brussels that will never be the same again.

The videos—Marie André’s collection of five portraits of women, Krüger & Messiaen’s record of Roberte’s nocturnal escapade and Marta Bergman’s story of the last months of her grandmother in a Brussels home for the elderly—have been made with quite moderate budgets. Except in the case of Marie André, who filmed with the at the time state-of-the-art Ikegami U-Matic camera, the authors used simple equipment, and no complex post-production or editing was involved. The film makers are invariably close to their subjects: there is for example the filming mother and daughter or the filming granddaughter. On the one hand that allows them to record the everyday, seemingly trite actions of their subjects in an “objective” manner, as if the camera wasn’t there. On the other hand the lack of distance results in an emotional tension. The viewer is forced to enter into a particularly intimate relationship with the work: the portraits present to the viewer a contract that alternately seeks to command respect and gravitates towards voyeurism. The concept of In Remembrance of Times Past emphasizes this intimacy and recognizability. The works of the three film makers are presented in a setting of three small houses. What is evoked inside, is not the atmosphere of just any living room with a television set—it is the atmosphere of the home and the habitat of the filmed women themselves.
The videos as such belong to the collection of Argos, which comprises more than 4,000 audiovisual titles. (IS)

Marie André, Galerie de portraits, 1982, 45' 49".
Marta Bergman, Heureux séjour, 2002, 59'.
Peter Krüger & Gerrit Messiaen, Roberte's Dance: a Saturday Night in Brussels, 1998, 23'49".

Image: Harun Farocki

Press contact Ive Stevenheydens via or +32 (0)2 2290003

Opening Night 20.04.2013 // 18:00-21:00

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