Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 3 pm at Historic Northampton
In his film Still Life Harun Farocki connects the contemporary advertising of consumer objects to the 17th century Flemish tradition of still life painting. Weaving together scenes from shoots advertising cheese, watches and beer, juxtaposed with 17th century still life paintings, Farocki explores the similarities and differences between these two image making traditions. As the final film in the series, Still Life gets at the essential question of the series’ theme: how do we photograph objects?
Writing about Mr. Farocki in 1992, The Los Angeles Times called him “surely one of the most challenging, speculative and distinctive filmmakers ever to confront an audience.” Mr. Farocki’s films were conspicuous assemblages, comprising found and archival footage including surveillance tapes, home movies and corporate training films. By juxtaposing such images, he sought both to highlight their curious commonalities and to put his finger on the political imperatives that lay beneath their flickering surfaces.
Mr. Farocki, who was deeply influenced by Bertolt Brecht and Jean-Luc Godard, studied at the German Film and Television Academy in West Berlin. He began making films — from the very beginning, they were non-narrative essays on the politics of imagery — in the mid-1960s. On the whole, Mr. Farocki’s film seemed to say, under the strains of modern life, the objects bear up better than the people do.
from The New York Times, August 23, 2014