Harun Farocki. Still from Serious Games I: Watson is Down. 2010. Two-channel video installation (color, sound). 8 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds, 2011. © 2011 Harun Farocki.
Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York.
Harun Farocki. Still from Videograms of a Revolution. 1992. 16mm film transferred to video (color, sound). 106 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously in honor of Anna Marie Shapiro. © 2011 Harun Farocki. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York.
Harun Farocki. Still from Inextinguishable Fire. 1969. 16mm film transferred to video (black and white, sound). 25 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously in honor of Anna Marie Shapiro. © 2011 Harun Farocki. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York.
11 West 53 Street
The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor
Projects Gallery, second floor
Images of War (at a Distance)
June 29, 2011-January 2, 2012
June 29, 2011-October 17, 2011
Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance) marks the first comprehensive solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Harun Farocki (b. 1944, German-annexed Czechoslovakia) in a United States museum, and features the U.S. premiere of Serious Games I–IV (2009–10), a four–part video installation at the center of the exhibition.
Galvanized by the international student protest movement of the late 1960s, Farocki developed an experimental documentary style integrating his own material with footage appropriated from a range of sources, including mass media, surveillance, and political propaganda. In the past several years, he has translated his essayistic approach to the gallery environment. The focal installation Serious Games I-IV, comprising the four video installations I: Watson is Down (2010), II: Three Dead (2010), III: Immersion (2009), and IV: A Sun with No Shadow (2010), positions video game technology within the context of the military, where it originated. The work juxtaposes real-life wartime exercises with virtual reenactments to question the fundamental links between technology, politics, and violence.
Serious Games I-IV is contextualized by works representing a significant portion of Farocki’s oeuvre — including such integral works as the early agit-prop film Inextinguishable Fire (1969); Videograms of a Revolution (1992), a collaboration with Andrej Uijca; and Farocki’s most recent work, The Silver and the Cross (2010) — displayed on several monitors within the gallery. Furthermore, visitors can browse some 32 works by the artist and gain a comprehensive overview of his practice at three interactive viewing stations.
The exhibition reflects a recent large-scale acquisition — realized as a joint effort by MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance Art and Department of Film—of 36 artworks, a body of work spanning four decades and including nearly all of Farocki’s videos, video installations, and films in video format. On view from June 29, 2011, to January 2, 2012, in The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance) is organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Erica Papernik, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.