Thursday, 19 February 2015

Harun Farocki: Images of the World and the Inscription of War

As a part of the exhibition at the Tate called Time, Conflict, Photography and at the recommendation of my professor at UCL, Stephanie Schwartz, who teaches a seminar that I am participating in called American Media: Publicity and the Logics of Surveillance, I attended a screening of Harun Farocki's film, "Images of the World and the Inscription of War". The film was probably one of the most complicated that I have ever watched and I feel as though I should screen it several times before I could really sense that I have come to some kind of palpable understanding of it in its entirety.

"Images of the World and the Inscription of War" tells the story of how images of Auschwitz during the World War II were captured by the American surveillance cameras attempting to take aerial photographs of an industrial plant nearby in Germany. It was only in the 1970s when the CIA noticed that the concentration camp in operation was visible in these shots. The images show a queue of dots - prisoners lining up for their death in the gas chambers.

The film pieces also together a variety of seemingly unrelated shots as a sort of recurring collage, one of which includes scenes showing close-ups of a woman who remains still as makeup is applied to her face and then removed from it. Farocki sews in a multitude of distinct images that relate to surveillance and perception, visibility and invisibility and what it might mean to look at and see a face.

Images taken from and

Conflict, Time, Photography at the Tate Modern

I went to see the exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography at the Tate Modern a few weeks ago and have been meaning to write something on it. What I particularly found interesting about the show were the curatorial choices. The way the exhibition was organized was according to how long after the catastrophic event the photograph was made. None of the works could be considered photojournalism but instead are artistic responses in the photographic medium to make sense of these events. The first room consisted of photographs made only moments have the (usually) war related event in question. The rooms that followed were a few days after, a few months after, a few years after up to 100 years after the event whereby artists continued to respond to the traumas that occurred one century before.

What I also found engaging about Conflict, Time, Photography was that it attended to events from all over the world without a focus on any one or two era or areas of conflict. In this way, there was a certain kind of democracy in the selection of photographs where no one image seemed more dire than the other. Rather, the included works came together to insist on two opposing yet connected sentiments: that the experience of catastrophe is at once unique to an individual and at the same time reflects a collective trauma.

One of the works that struck me in particular was Wolf’s Lair / Adolf Hitler’s War Headquarters by Polish artist Jerzy Lewczynski taken in the 1960s. 

Image taken from

The Collie I Never Had

Here is a poem of mine called "The Collie I Never Had" that was recently published by Ink Sweat and Tears... kind of seeing a pattern here about things I don't have or things I didn't experience...

Image from

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Two poems on The Quietus

Two poems of mine were published today on The Quietus ("AEIOU" and "Frog Karma"). Very exciting!! 

(The image chosen to accompany my poems on the site)