Harun Farocki has produced more than 120 films, short films and installations throughout his career. Central to Farocki’s interests is a critical analysis of the images of consumerist society and wars. From the Vietnam War to those of the first decade of the 21st century, Farocki has analysed how the meanings of images are constructed and how the reality of war is conveyed and perceived by the audience. The first Gulf War can be considered the first conflict broadcast live on television, as well as the first where real and artificial images became interchangeable on the television screens of viewers around the world. War at a Distance explores this connection between war violence, machine-produced artificial vision and capitalist economics, demonstrating that our anthropocentric conception of vision has become obsolete in the increasingly technological world in which we are immersed. Replacing the human eye, and its empathy, with the camera, the radar, the drone – Farocki argues – changes the very conception and meaning of images.
Harun Farocki (Nový Jičín, Czech Republic, 1944 – Berlin, Germany, 2014) was a German film director, screenwriter, journalist and playwright. He studied sociology, journalism and film in Berlin. Already active as an experimental author of short films in the 1960s, Farocki was also a theatre director, author of radio dramas, screenwriter and journalist. Influenced by such auteurs as Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard and Sergei Eisenstein, Farocki authored political and avant-garde cinema in which he explored various expressive techniques such as video art and multimedia installations. He has taught at Berkeley University and at the Vienna Academy of Art. The Venice Art Biennale dedicated a posthumous tribute to him in 2015. His work has been exhibited in numerous institutions including: Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2019); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul, Korea(2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2017); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany (2017); Fundacío Antoni Tapìes, Barcelona, Spain (2016); Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2014); Tate Modern, London, UK (2009); and mumok, Vienna, Austria (2007).