Harun Farocki was born in 1944 in Neutitschein, an area in the Czech Republic, which had been annexed by the Germans at the time. For over 40 years he has lived and worked in Berlin. The work of the artist and film-maker has had a decisive influence on the history of the political film since the late 1960s. Besides over 100 productions made for television and cinema, Farocki – as long-time author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik, curator, and visiting professor in Berkeley, Harvard and Vienna – has conveyed his reflections on the relation between society, politics and the moving picture. His huge significance for the visual arts is reflected in retrospectives of his films in institutions such as the Tate Modern/London, and solo exhibitions in the MUMOK [Museum of Modern Art]/Vienna, Jeu de Paume/Paris, Museum Ludwig/Cologne and more recently in the Kunsthaus/Bregenz. In 1997 and 2007, Farocki took part in the documenta in Kassel. For many years, the relation between technology and war has played a decisive role in Farocki's works.
We regret to announce the passing of Harun Farocki on 30 July 2014. He was 70 years of age. From 1967 onwards, Harun Farocki directed more than 120 films and installations that analysed the powers of the image with an originality, a prescience and a gravitas that renewed itself, year after year, project after project. In his teaching and his essays, in journals and books and exhibitions conceived and produced with Antje Ehmann, Farocki was a powerful critic, editor, theorist and curator in his own right. Generations of artists, theorists and critics have taken Farockis films such as Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1988) and installations such as Deep Play (2007) as reference points. His impact and influence on culture, within and beyond Germany, is undisputed. He was, and remains, a commanding figure of contemporary culture. Despite his numerous commitments, Farocki was always generous with his time, his ideas and his attention. Unlike many artists from the 1960s, Farocki was neither nostalgic nor bitter. He was forward-looking, youthful, humorous, restless, unpretentious, enquiring, skeptical, stylish and handsome. He loved football, a drink of beer and smoking his favourite cigarettes, with his friends from his travels and with his life partner Antje Ehmann. Harun Farocki, was and is, irreplaceable. We are proud to have counted ourselves among his many, many friends. We admired him and we loved him and we learnt from him, always. To say that we will miss him is an understatement that he would have appreciated.