During a five-decade career beginning in the mid-1960s, Harun Farocki created more than 120 films and installations that analysed the power of the image. His non-narrative works explored the ways image-making is used to shape the public sphere, and in this endeavour, he was most concerned with images associated with modern institutions. Farocki was also a formidable educator, critic, editor, theorist and curator—contributing to contemporary cultural discourse through both artistic production and writing when most of his generation focused on either one or the other. Farocki’s films such as The Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1988), along with installations including Deep Play (2007), have served as important references for generations of practitioners.
SB13 presents Farocki’s film A New Product (2012), which examines how language simultaneously articulates and fulfils a new logic of spatial organisation for a workplace predicated on flexibility. The film is comprised of scenes from the meetings of a consultancy firm specialising in the design of offices and social zones. As we see the firm trying to hash out ways to provide employees with greater independence and a more adaptable office environment, the film shows how organisations have found ways and means to hold on to their cynicism over the years while still speaking positively. Here, Farocki proposes that words are not just tools but have become objects of speculation.
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 13.
A New Product