Still Life and An Image

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: UW School of Art, Room 3
Tickets: Free event. First-come, first-served seating. Seating is limited.

Yale Union and The New Foundation Seattle present two documentary films by Harun Farocki: Still Life and An Image. Curator Robert Snowden will introduce the films in conjunction with YU’s screening series The Devil, Probably.

Stilleben (Still Life)
1997, 58 min., color and b/w, German with English subtitles. Digital.
According to Farocki, today’s photographers working in advertising are, in a way, continuing the tradition of 17th century Flemish painters in that they depict objects from everyday life – the “still life”. The filmmaker illustrates this intriguing hypothesis with three documentary sequences which show the photographers at work creating a contemporary “still life”: a cheese-board, beer glasses and an expensive watch.

Ein Bild (An Image)
1983, 25 min., color, German with English subtitles, Digital.
“Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy magazine provided the subject matter for my film. The magazine itself deals with culture, cars, a certain lifestyle. Maybe all those trappings are only there to cover up the naked woman. Maybe it’s like with a paper-doll. The naked woman in the middle is a sun around which a system revolves: of culture, of business, of living! (It’s impossible to either look or film into the sun.) One can well imagine that the people creating such a picture, the gravity of which is supposed to hold all that, perform their task with as much care, seriousness, and responsibility as if they were splitting uranium.

This film, An Image, is part of a series I’ve been working on since 1979. The television station that commissioned it assumes in these cases that I’m making a film that is critical of its subject matter, and the owner or manager of the thing that’s being filmed assumes that my film is an advertisement for them. I try to do neither. Nor do I want to do something in between, but beyond both.” -Harun Farocki, Zelluloid, no. 27, Fall 1988