Harun Farocki - I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts (2000)

This is the first out of eight work's by Harun Farocki which i will post in the near future.

Images from the maximum- security prison in Corcoran, California. A surveillance camera shows a pie-shaped segment of the concrete yard where the prisoners, dressed in shorts and mostly shirtless, are allowed to spend half an hour a day. When one convict attacks another, those not involved lay flat on the ground, arms over their heads.They know that when a fight breaks out, the guard calls out a warning and then fires rubber bullets. If the fight continues, the guard shoots real bullets. The pictures are silent, the trail of gun smoke drifts across the picture. The camera and the gun are right next to each other. This video also emphasizes the social relationship between the one who fires and the one who films, between the one with force and the one who takes shots.

In I Thought I was Seeing Convicts, his most recent film, Farocki uses shots of security cameras of one of the maximum security prisons in America. We see how the camera suddenly zooms in on a fight between two prisoners. The guarding warns the prisoners through speakers, and then fires rubber bullets. A little later they fire live ammunition. By omitting the sound of this fragment and by placing the camera next to the rifleman Farocki emphasises the social relationship between the one who fires and the one who films; between the one with force and the one who take shots. Because of this the images get a very oppressive and critical character.


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at 9:28 AM