Image of Harun Farocki

Harun Farocki: What Ought to Be Done


When the artist and filmmaker Harun Farocki passed away in 2015 the art world took stock of the vast influence his years of quiet production held. It’s therefore fantastic news that the Harun Farocki Insitit has started to collaborate with Motto books to publish aspects of his archive along with contextual commentary and original documentation. This slim, bilingual tome is the second of the series that begins with a call to arms subtly hidden within a simple straightforward manifesto. Written in 1975, the titles deliberate nod to Lenin at the time of Germanys division (Farocki was writing from West Germany) is a call for the creation of an institution ‘for initiating and coordinating some documentary work’. Seemingly very banal and orthodox, the slow progression of Farocki’s vision, accompanied by a survey sent round to likeminded people asking for their perspective on this possible ‘institute’ posits a radical, physical space for the decentring of the production process and what we consider archival and documentary.