Artist: Harun Farocki

Exhibition Run: 17 January 2009 - 22 February 2009

Curated by Bart van der Heide, Antje Ehmann and Kodwo Eshun

Three Early Films did not have a private view, but instead four public events that are organised throughout the course of the exhibition.

With Three Early Films, Cubitt Gallery is proud to host a selection of early works by the renowned German filmmaker Harun Farocki (b.1944). From 17 January through 22 February (2009), the exhibition features four public events and consecutive screenings of Inextinguishable Fire (1969, 16mm, 25 min.), Between Two Wars (1978, 16mm, 83 min.) and Industry and Photography (1979, 35mm transferred to video, 44 min.). This modest selection from an otherwise extensive career of writing, publishing, television production, installations, feature movies and documentaries, underlines Farocki’s unique influence on moving image practice throughout the last 4 decades. Farocki continuously succeeds in abstracting the cultural and political representation of labour and combat from its matrix of production and perception.

In order to generate a singular contemporary interpretation of Farocki’s oeuvre, Three Early Films opens up the question of the representation of pedagogy within visual culture. In association with Kodwo Eshun (London based writer and artist from The Otolith Group) and Antje Ehmann (Berlin based artist and curator), a discursive context is constructed that takes its cue from the ongoing research of the critic Tom Holert and the curator Marion von Osten (Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna), entitled the Education Image. Education Image explores the different ways in which pedagogy appears in visual culture and how, in turn, visual culture is used as an educative tool.

Four public events will be organised throughout the course of the exhibition with the participation of Tom Holert, Marion von Osten, Harun Farocki and Lucy Reynolds. For Three Early Films, Cubitt is proud to announce the premiere of a new film montage by Antje Ehmann, which explores the trope of education in the work of Harun Farocki and the new translation and subtitling of Industry and Photography which is presented in London for the first time.

Overall, Three Early Films is more than an exhibition; it constitutes a critical playing field that is suggestively described by Ehmann and Farocki as a cutting room (‘a laboratory for cinema’). “The cutting room is the place where film is examined; where each individual film-take is meticulously weighed and evaluated”, note Ehmann and Farocki. With this in mind, Three Early Films features a diverse program informed by the imperatives of examination, selection and critical assessment; the exhibition features a differentiation in timing (combining video loops with special screenings), media (video and 16mm-projections) and public discussions in partnership with the Goethe Institute, London and the University of Westminster’s Centre for the Production and Research of Documentary Film, London.

Public Events

  • Education Image — Sat 31 Jan
  • What Farocki Taught — Sat 7 Feb
  • The Image in Violence — Thu 19 Feb
  • Q&A with Harun Farocki — Fri 20 Feb

Exhibition Screenings

  • Inextinguishable Fire (1969, 16mm., 25min.)
  • Between Two Wars (1978, 16mm, 83 min.)
  • Industry and Photography (1979, video, 44min.)

‘Three Early Films’ by Harun Farocki will be followed by ‘Harun Farocki. Against What? Against Whom?’ in November 2009, the most substantive exhibition of Farocki’s work to be presented in London, curated by Kodwo Eshun of The Otolith Group, Alex Sainsbury, Antje Ehmann and Stuart Comer. Works made for exhibition will be presented at London’s Raven Row ( while a season of Farocki’s films, ranging from his early work in the late 1960s through to contemporary films as yet unseen in the UK, will be screened at Tate Modern ( throughout November.