Close Up

14 November 2018: Images of the World


"One must be just as wary of pictures as of words. There is no literature without linguistic criticism, without the author being critical of the existing language. It’s just the same with film. One need not look for new, as yet unseen images, but one must work with existing ones in such a way that they become new.” – Harun Farocki

In Farocki's film and in Introduction to the End of an Argument, images take centre stage. Whether they are coming from an Elvis musical set in the Middle East or from American reconnaissance aircrafts flying over Germany, the images the filmmakers analyze are revealed as powerful agents carrying deep and often violent historical consequences. Farocki's crisp cinematography contrasts Suleiman's and Salloum's noisy video collage with both films adopting radically different approaches to provide equally provocative and urgent arguments on the nature of images.

Introduced by artist, filmmaker and cultural activist Andrea Luka Zimmerman. Images of the World and the Inscription of War is presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.

Images of the World and the Inscription of War
Harun Farocki
1989 | 75 min | Colour | Digital

"By turns curious and furious, the film examines aerial photographs of Auschwitz taken by American bombers searching for targets like munitions factories and chemical plants used to fuel the Nazi war efforts. Somehow the long, sinewy lines of people huddled before gas chambers went unseen. Rather, they were not what the CIA was looking for and were therefore left unexamined and unidentified. The photographs were promptly filed away, only to be unearthed thirty years later. Probing these documents and juxtaposing them with photographs taken by the Nazis, as well as images illustrated by Alfred Kantor, a camp prisoner, Farocki weaves together a sharp, provocative, and multi-layered refutation of photographic reality, using many other tangents that build upon his argument in ways unconventional and intuitive." – Cinematheque Ontario

Introduction to the end of an Argument
Elia Suleiman & Jayce Salloum
1990 | 45 min | Colour | Digital

A polemic piece of culture jamming satire. The films assembles a combination of Hollywood, European and Israeli film, documentary and news coverage together with excerpts of 'live' footage shot in the West Bank and Gaza strip, to critique Western representations of the Middle East, Arab culture, and the Palestinian people.

Part of Francesco Maria Carreri's programme, Never Found: Alternate Histories of the 20th Century