Harun Farocki ‘Against What? Against Whom?‘
Raven Row, London. 27.01.2010
The exhibition contains two-screen and multi-screen works of revered German filmmaker Harun Farocki. It makes me think a lot about the relationship between installation and editing or montage as well as the narrative of film essay.
Multi-screen or two-screen works are totally different from the one of single screen. It does extend the imaginary or possibility of montage of film. Sometimes, it make the story go more smoothly, while sometime it seems to disturb the structure of the film and try to make some sense.
Take the Eye/Machine(video, 2 screens, 25minutes, 2003) as an example, the screens show the situation in different space at the same time in different perspectives. In this situation, if it is single screen, there would be more issues about montages. The images in different context would be edited together, and the editor needs to do it carefully to control the rhythm of the film. However, when it is played in two screens, there is nothing about editing between them. One can watch how things are going on about the “bleeding man” and the “guard” at the same time. The author create a feeling of contradiction which is more intensive when they both are going on without disturbing of editing. In another word, the multi-screen maximizes the information what the film can give at one time. This kind of function of the multi-screen of installation can also be reflected by the “comparison via a third”, which shows the industry of brick-making in different countries in different periods, and “workers leaving the factory in eleven decades” (12 monitors) which gives the history of 110 years in less then 110 minutes. Finally, I found that the multi-screen can save the time of the film which essay can not do.