HaFI 011: Frieda Grafe: Souvenirs, Origins, Found Fiction
A small selection of texts written by the outstanding film critic and translator Frieda Grafe, complemented by the speech that Harun Farocki gave when Grafe and Enno Patalas were given the “01 award” in 2000.
Grafe’s three texts published in this booklet provide a glimpse into her cosmos of film thinking, which has always emerged in close contact to its subject. “Souvenirs, in Celebration of Cinema” was written at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of cinema. The review of Ingemo Engström’s film Kampf um ein Kind (1975), in which Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki, two of the new members of the Filmkritik staff, appear as actors, is one of her regular texts for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Grafe’s reflections on the essay film entitled “Found Fiction: Better Documentaries” was presented at the symposium Essay Films at the Stadtkino in Vienna in May 1991.
“In Frieda Grafe’s texts,” Farocki writes, “we experience how she reads a film neither symptomatically, which would be a kind of film sociology, nor does she judge a film as a property title, as an announced or declined investment, which would be common, courtly film gossip. In her texts, the film appears as it is and she does not set it apart from what is otherwise common as I am now doing with her writing.”
The booklet costs 6 Euro and can be ordered here at Motto Books.
* HaFI 011 is published within the framework of Archive außer sich, a project of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of The New Alphabet, a HKW project supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to the ruling of the German Bundestag.
April 22nd, 2020, Projects / Publication
David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”
September 7th, 2020, Tom
T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk: “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”
August 21st, 2020, Tom
Bernard Stiegler, quoted from The Neganthropocene (trans. Daniel Ross): “Does anyone really believe that it is possible to ‘solve’ the problems of climate change, habitat destruction and cultural destruction without addressing the consumerist basis of the present macro-economic system, or vice versa, or without addressing the way in which this system depletes the psychic energy required to find the collective will, belief, hope and reason to address this planetary challenge? Can this consumerism really survive the coming wave of automation that threatens to decimate its customer base and undermine the ‘consumer confidence’ that is fundamental to its perpetual growth requirements, themselves antithetical, once again, to the problems of biospherical preservation?”
August 14th, 2020, Tom