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
Interface

Jodi Dean on work in neofeudal times, via Los Angeles Review of Books: “When work is imagined — and some on the left think that we should adopt a ‘postwork imaginary’ — it looks like either romantic risk-free farming or tech-work, ‘immaterial labor.’ By now, the exposés on the drudgery of call center work, not to mention the trauma-inducing labor of monitoring sites like Facebook for disturbing, illicit content, have made the inadequacy of the idea of ‘immaterial labor’ undeniable. It should be similarly apparent that the postwork imaginary likewise erases the production and maintenance of infrastructure, the wide array of labor necessary for social reproduction, and the underlying state structure.”

May 23rd, 2020, Tom

Naomi Klein on the “Screen New Deal” (via The Intercept): “Calling [Bill] Gates a ‘visionary,’ [New York governor Andrew] Cuomo said the pandemic has created ‘a moment in history when we can actually incorporate and advance [Gates’s] ideas … all these buildings, all these physical classrooms — why with all the technology you have?’ he asked, apparently rhetorically. It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the ‘Screen New Deal.’ Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future.”

May 11th, 2020, Tom

Andrea Bagnato on Red Zones, isolation, metaphors, blame, risk and coexistence (at e-flux architecture): “[…] the current manifestation of confinement is better thought of not so much as epidemic control, but as a form of risk displacement: a minority of workers is made to keep the economy going so that a majority of the population can stay at home. And the reverse is true as well: millions of people have to put up with extended confinement so that the risk posed by industrial workers doesn’t grow out of control. In the necropolitical calculations of the State, the physical health of workers and the mental health of everyone else are both a price worth paying.”

May 5th, 2020, Tom
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