Images of the World and the Inscription of War

  • Tues Jan 27
Images of the World and the Inscription of War

intro by Prof Cathy Crane (Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, Ithaca College)

Harun Farocki

Harun Farocki, who died unexpectedly this past summer, left behind a staggeringly impressive body of work, much of it engaged with questions surrounding the political and historical dimension of images. This documentary essay, one of his masterpieces, “applies his rigorous investigative intelligence to one of the 20th century’s darkest moments by closely examining the 1944 Allied aerial photographs of German chemical factory Farben, which revealed evidence of the genocide unfolding at nearby Auschwitz. Issues around the selective perception of reality and the persistence of what is erased via pictorial residues are explored in a systematic collage of image ‘technologies’, from Identikits through architectural models and make-up to draughtsmanship. The shifting political and psychological implications of the image’s artifice/authenticity are probed, but crucial is the twin realization that while events can be changed and even redeemed by looking properly, there always remains a classification and reduction of the world and experience in the process. A significant and compelling work of forensic exposure.” (Time Out Film Guide)


DVD color
1 hour 15 minutes
release year/country
1988 Germany