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la Biennale di Venezia

56th International Art Exhibition now closed

Exceptional attendance by young visitors, groups and the foreign press: 501,502 visitors and 8,000 accredited journalists
56th International Art Exhibition now closed


La Biennale di Venezia and Google Cultural Institute together for the Biennale Arte

Biennale College – Cinema

4th edition 2015 / 2016
Biennale College – Cinema


Harun Farocki: Cinema and Speculation

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participants include: Nora Alter, Kodwo Eshun, Isaac Julien, Mark Nash, and Bert Rebhandl
09 | 03 | 2015

at the ARENA, Central Pavilion, 4-5 September 2015

The 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, All the World's Futures honours the late filmmaker Harun Farocki with a presentation of all his films. For this occasion his entire oeuvre has been digitized with the support of the Goethe-Institut.
For many years the Goethe-Institut maintained a close collaboration with Harun Farocki and will now be able to make most of his films available on high-resolution media all over the world.
The symposium entitled Harun Farocki: Cinema and Speculation, organized by la Biennale di Venezia with the support of the Goethe-Institute, will take place at The ARENA in the Central Pavilion on September 4th and the 5th, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. This event will mark this extraordinary achievement and contextualize Farocki's work by inviting long-time collaborators as well as an international group of peers for two days of screenings, lectures and discussions.
One of Germany’s most acclaimed filmmakers, Harun Farocki build up a body of work comprising more than 120 films and installations over a period of nearly five decades. During the late 1960s, Farocki’s agitprop-style films, including the landmark NICHT löschbares Feuer (Not Extinguishable Fire) (1969), addressed such crises as the Vietnam War. By the late 1970s he was directing features informed by a Marxist worldview and developing a cinematic critique of capital. In the 1980s and 1990s, he directed a number of essay films and documentaries. Whether Die Schulung (Indoctrination) (1986) or Stillleben (Still Life) (1997), in these works he investigates a society manipulated into a dependency on the mechanisms of advanced capitalism: the commodity, the advertisement, and the state apparatus that regard citizenship as a matter of training in resource management and interpersonal protocols rather than a mode of access to equity, participation, and justice. The 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia pays tribute to Farocki’s prolific and consistently poignant filmography by showing an atlas of his eighty-seven films as well as Labour in a Single Shot, the extraordinary project by Farocki and his partner and collaborator Antje Ehmann (who will also participate in the symposium) in the Arsenale Corderie.
The symposium will take place in the ARENA in the Central Pavilion. Designed by award-winning Ghanaian/British architect David Adjaye, the ARENA serves as a gathering-place of the spoken word, the art of the song, recitals, film projections, and a forum for public discussions. Taking the concept of the Sikh event, the Akhand Path (a recitation of the Sikh holy book read continuously over several days by a relay of readers), Das Kapital by Karl Marx is read as a dramatic text by trained actors, directed by artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, during the entire duration of the Art Biennale, from May 6 to November 22, 2015. Accompanying the live reading of Marx’s seminal and still controversial book will be a continuous sequence of other oral performances involving the recital of librettos, lyrics, scripts, etc.
As part of the symposium we are delighted to announce the World Premiere of the new digitalized version of Harun Farockis: Leben BRD (How to live in the FRG), (1990). Isaac Julien’s two-screen video installation Kapital (2013) as well as Alexander Kluge’s three-screen version of News from Ideological Antiquity: Marx / Eisenstein / Capital (2008 – 2015) are both physical and “meta-physical” neighbors to the ARENA and Harun Farocki: Cinema and Speculation.
September 4th (1:30 pm to 4:30 pm)
Harun Farocki: Cinema and Speculation
Welcome: Okwui Enwezor and Johannes Hossfeld, Head of Film Goethe-Institute
Screening: Chris Marker - La sixième face du pentagone (The Sixth Face of the Pentagon), 1968 (28 min)
Discussion: Nora M. Alter, Bert Rebhandl, Isaac Julien, Kodwo Eshun
Moderator: Mark Nash
September 5th (1:30 pm to 4:30 pm)
Harun Farocki: Cinema and Speculation
Welcome: Okwui Enwezor and Johannes Ebert, General Secretary Goethe-Institute
Screening, World Premiere new digitalized version: Harun Farocki - Leben BRD, 1990 (83 min)
Lecture: Kodwon Eshun: Leben BRD
Discussion: Nora M. Alter, Kowdo Eshun, Bert Rebhandl
Moderator: Mark Nash
Nora M. Alter is Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is author of Vietnam Protest Theatre: The Television War on Stage (1996), Projecting History: Non-Fiction German Film (2002), Chris Marker (2006) and co-editor with Lutz Koepnick of Sound Matters: Essays on the Acoustics of Modern German Culture (2004). Her forthcoming edited volume with Timothy Corrigan, Essays on the Essay Film will be out next year with Columbia University Press. Other future publications include a single-authored study, The Essay Film After Fact and Fiction and a monograph on Harun Farocki.
Kodwo Eshun is an artist and theorist based in London. He is co-founder of The Otolith Group whose recent works have been presented in solo exhibitions at Serralves, Porto and Bergen Kunsthall and group exhibitions such as The Anthropocene Project. A Report, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Cut to Swipe, Museum of Modern Art, New York.  In 2010, The Otolith Group was nominated for The Turner Prize. Eshun is the author of Dan Graham: Rock My Religion (2012) and More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (1998). He is co-editor of World 3 (2014), The Militant Image: A Cine-Geography: Third Text 108 (2011), Harun Farocki: Against What? Against Whom? (2009), A Long Time Between Suns (2009) and The Ghosts of Songs: The Film Art of the Black Audio Film Collective (2007). Eshun lectures in Aural and Visual Culture at the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London.  
Isaac Julien studied at St Martins’ School of Art from 1980 to 1984. His work draws from and comments on a range of disciplines and practices (film, dance, photography, music, theater, painting, and sculpture) and unites them in dramatic audiovisual film installations, photographic works, and documentary films.
Isaac Julien has won numerous prizes and awards including the Semaine de la Critique Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Young Soul Rebels (1991), the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award (2014), and the Kaino Award for Artistic Excellence (2015). Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his works The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999), and Vagabondia (2000). His work has been included in Documenta 11 (2002), the 7th Gwangju Biennial (2008), and the Paris Triennial (2012). In addition, Julien has had various solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago (2013), the MCA San Diego (2012), the Bass Museum, Miami (2010), and the Centre Pompidou (2005) among others. In the winter of 2013-2014 his installation Ten Thousand Waves (2010) was on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mark Nash is an independent curator and writer, until recently head of department curating contemporary art at the Royal College of Art London. He collaborated with Okwui Enwezor on The Short Century exhibition and Documenta11, both 2002 and Ute Meta Bauer on the 3rd Berlin Biennial 2004. Post Documenta11, he has written extensively on artists’ work with the moving image – both in Experiments with Truth (Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia 2004-05) and One Sixth of the Earth:Ecologies of image (at ZKM, Karlsruhe and MUSAC Leon, 2012-13). This latest exhibition continued to explore the artistic legacy of the formerly communist countries, first explored in Reimagining October at Calvert 22 2009 (curated with Isaac Julien), which explored the artistic legacy of the Soviet period. He also produced Isaac Julien’s The Attendant (1993) and Steve McLean’s Postcards from America (1994) for Normal Films.
Bert Rebhandl studied Literature, Philosophy and Theology. He has been working as a freelance film and cultural critic since 1993, his work has appeared in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Standard, taz, Frieze and many more. Cofounder and editor of quarterly magazine CARGO Film Medien Kultur ( Books on Orson Welles, the Western and the sitcom Seinfeld. Currently working on an intellectual biography of Jean-Luc Godard. Based in Berlin.