* 1944 (Germany) lives and works in Berlin
Harun Farocki was born in 1944 in Neutitschein, an area in the Czech Republic, which had been annexed by the Germans at the time. For over 40 years he has lived and worked in Berlin. The work of the artist and film-maker has had a decisive influence on the history of the political film since the late 1960s. Besides over 100 productions made for television and cinema, Farocki – as long-time author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik, curator, and visiting professor in Berkeley, Harvard and Vienna – has conveyed his reflections on the relation between society, politics and the moving picture.
In Sinop the film „Prison Images“ (2000) will be presented.
„A film composed of images from prisons. Quotes from fiction films and documentaries as well as footage from surveillance cameras. A look at the new control technologies, at personal identification devices, electronic ankle bracelets, electronic tracking devices. The cinema has always been attracted to prisons. Today’s prisons are full of video surveillance cameras. These images are unedited and monotonous; as neither time nor space is compressed, they are particularly well-suited to conveying the state of inactivity into which prisoners are placed as a punitive measure. The surveillance cameras show the norm and reckon with deviations from it. Clips from films by Genet and Bresson. Here the prison appears as a site of sexual infraction, a site where human beings must create themselves as people and as a workers. In Un Chant d’amour by Jean Genet, the guard looks in on inmates in their cells and sees them masturbating. The inmates are aware that they are being watched and thus become performers in a peep show. The protagonist in Bresson’s Un Condamné à mort s’est échappé turns the objects of imprisonment into the tools of his escape. These topoi appear in many prison films. In newer prisons, in contrast, contemporary video surveillance technology aims at demystification“. (Harun Farocki)