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Cinemania: Harun Farocki and Holly Zausner

Cinemania: Harun Farocki and Holly Zausner

Cinemania turns the gallery into a laboratory for film, much like an editing room, where individual shots are closely examined before being assembled into new sequences. The exhibition presents two artists, Harun Farocki and Holly Zausner, who investigate the very structure of film by substituting its customary sequencing of pictures with simultaneous images. Farocki, known as an experimental filmmaker and media theorist, has suggested a more fluid conception of history: “The succession of montage allows one shot to replace the next and the message is: this image, not the one before. Simultaneity, on the contrary, expresses: this shot and at the same time this other one.”

Workers Leaving the Factory in Eleven Decades (2006) is one of Farocki’s earliest installations. It begins with history’s first film, Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon (1895), and continues chronologically, capturing other workers leaving factories in a wide range of fiction and documentary films, including the silent-era masterpiece Intolerance (1916), the German Expressionist Metropolis (1927), the comedy Modern Times (1936), the Italian modernist The Red Desert (1964), and the Danish musical Dancer in the Dark (2000).

While Farocki engages simultaneity in his twelve-channel video installation, Zausner presents it in handmade photo collages that are composed of hundreds of film stills. Originally trained as a sculptor, Zausner also works in film, photography, collage, and performance. Interweaving these disciplines  in remarkable ways, Zausner performs with her sculptures on film and in turn uses stills from the films in her collages. Her film Unseen (2007), also on view, begins with a plane skywriting its title. As each letter is formed, the previous one disappears, which emphasizes the role of memory in the perception of moving images and resonates in complex ways with the broad and macroscopic views of the collages and the multichannel video installation.

Andrea Inselmann
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Visit Cornell Cinema for a schedule of related film screenings.